Tame Impala enlightens with “The Slow Rush”

Documenting a progression of time, Kevin Parker hits the mark yet again.

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Abigail Gillardi

Emily Coffey, Staff Writer

Kevin Parker, who goes by pseudonym Tame Impala, released his long-awaited album The Slow Rushon Feb. 14, after trickling a few singles to his widening audience over the past year. Kevin Parker recorded the album between his home studio in Perth, Australia and Los Angeles in between various appearances at Coachella, Madison Square Garden and Lollapalooza

THE PROGRESSION OF TIME 

The project articulates what it feels like to grow older. One More Year” opens with a synthesized repetition of Parker speaking the title of the song, presumably a reference to his marriage. Having married his wife last February, Parker expresses the progression of time with someone he will spend the rest of his life with. 

“Why don’t we just say one more year?/ Not caring if we get the right amount of sleep/ … One more year/ Of livin the free spirit I wanna be,” Parker sings in the post-chorus. 

The album continues dreamily through “Instant Destiny” and onto “Borderline,” which he released as a single last April. Punctuated and layered, the song highlights the state of uncertainty in the chaos of success and about life in Los Angeles, partying too hard and wondering if he will be known and loved.

“Then I saw the time/ Watched it speedin’ by like a train,” he sings in the chorus. 

The idea of time passing permeates the lyrics in each song, which seems only reasonable since Parker turned 33 last year, and is now solidly out of his 20s. He’s getting old. He also sings of climate change and other political issues, which shows maturity in his awareness of the outside world. 

He closes the album with “One More Hour,” where its meaning hides inside the song title. At the beginning of the album, the listener had “One More Year,” but that year has been reduced to one hour. 

“I did it for fame (One more hour)/ But never for money/ Not for houses, not for her/ Not for my future children/ Until now,” he sings in the first verse. 

By this track, album’s message snaps into place. With the passage of time, Parker commits himself to marriage and anticipates children—but with the burden of a success he did not have at the start of his career. 

PSYCHEDELIC SOUND 

Tame Impala continues his psychedelic rock, often leaving out discernable structure. Parker loves layered synths, distant vocals and driving beats, without showing a hint of any trap or manufactured drums. The synth often leaves listeners feeling like they have just woken up from a deep sleep. Listeners cannot categorize “One More Year”—it could play in the background of a Zoolander party scene, but could also pass for elevator music.   

Although Parker definitely draws from the past for inspiration, his sound remains unprecedented, which is why he succeeds as an artist. He admitted to Huck Magazine this year that he often drinks wine or smokes weed while writing, claiming that “[he is] not sure it’s necessarily tapping into something; [he thinks] it’s more escaping.” 

This claim fits with the sound of the album as a whole—dreamy, sleepy and lacking structure. Parker effectively captures the feeling of escape or flight, and this is nothing new for Tame Impala. 

A SLOW RUSH SUCCESS

Although classic “The Less I Know The Better” reigns as his most-streamed on Spotify, four other tracks from the album crack Top 5, including “Breathe Deeper,” which features keys reminiscent of Billy Joel. The album has not charted yet, but if it gains traction like his last album “Currents,” it is very likely that it will.

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