THE SLOW RUSH (TAME IMPALA)

RELEASED 14TH FEBRUARY 2020

Favourite track: Posthumous Forgiveness

Mysterious, synth-heavy and intricately crafted. This album is so worth listening to.

I’ve been a fan of Kevin Parker a.k.a. Tame Impala’s music, especially tracks like ‘Past Life’ and ‘New Person, Same Old Mistakes’ so I was excited to see there was a new 12-track album out The Slow Rush. The contradiction there already gives the album an interesting feel as you’re not totally sure what this is going to be like. Spotify has it described as his “deep dive into the oceans of time” and the “unending cycle of life” with all its various motions. The cover art is very Dali and shows sand (perhaps the sands of time???) settled in what looks like a room of a house that has been overcome with the desert-like atmosphere.  

Image credit: Pitchfork

The first track ‘One More Year’ opens with a distorted voice almost going through an echo chamber. Then a Dance beat comes in gradually getting louder until it begins to blend along with some synths. The vocals are more of statements rather than song. The music then changes and some quiet electric guitar features. It is so recognisably Tame Impala, so if you’re a fan you won’t be disappointed. It’s a strong opening. ‘Instant Destiny’ begins with the line “I’m about to do something crazy” and I like the vocal melody of this. It’s catchy and the synths and drum kit work so well. Then there is a video game FX coming through as he sings over it. It’s chaotic but also weirdly ordered, which goes with this whole idea of contradiction. The hit ‘Borderline’ is next. It is such a catchy tune and has this 80s feel to it 100%. Everyone must have heard this one by now and the combination of flute, beats, warped bass and space sounds make it such a TUNE. ‘Posthumous Forgiveness’ opens with slower beats, bass guitar and electric guitar. The vocal work is melancholic but so nice. I love the beat when it comes through, it’s a great tune and the composition is so on it. Sharper synths come in to create a melody and it works so well in bringing that edge to the track.

A very 80s Funk opening to ‘Breathe Deeper’ with bass guitar and drum kit. The vocals are catchy as there is a lot of repetition in response to “If” questions with “believe me, I can”. The melody with the synths and keys is really retro and cool and it has this magical chime sound mid-way too. ‘Tomorrow’s Dust’ has a quirky opening of slowed down vocals, echoing and some percussion. Then it all stops as we have a high pitched synth note and then acoustic guitar and cleaner percussion. It has a Latin feel to it mixed with Indie. I like the piano in ‘On Track’ and then it becomes very dramatic. The vocals are slow on this and then it becomes more dramatic musically with drum rolls and snares then more of a consistent beat. ‘Lost In Yesterday’ opens like a Michael Jackson song. It’s got spacey vibes, Funk, bass guitar, a hard beat and an intricate composition. ‘Is It True’ open with a catchy brassy opening with heavy bass guitar and a quieter beat. It’s not bad at all. The chorus has a very Hip-Hop/RnB feel to it vocally which was unexpected.

‘It Might Be Time’ has a space feel but a nice backing instrumental and beat. The composition is quite Dance but the instruments aren’t so harsh. I like the beat is this one but it keeps stopping and starting as more layers are added. ‘Glimmer’ begins with an audio about the bass and then springs into an 80s style tune all the way to the electric guitar. This one doesn’t have much vocal work at all and is more about the music. The final track ‘One More Hour’ opens with jazzy piano and snares. The vocals are melodic and sound really nice on top of a repetitive piano. Then it becomes Queen-esque in its dramatic drum inclusion as he talks about how he did it all “for love”. It quietens down substantially and becomes vocals on top of just the repetitive piano sound. It’s reflective and begins to build up again with some space and drama midway.   

Tame Impala songs are full of energy, creativity and I feel they would work amazingly in some Art House film.