Written by James Waddington |
It’s been 4 years since Kevin Parker, otherwise known as Tame Impala released his psych disco-pop 3rd LP, Currents to much critical acclaim. Now after a break from releasing his own music it appears the cogs are starting to turn again inside the Tame Impala machine as Parker released the aptly titled single ‘Patience’ on the 22nd March.
It hasn’t all been time off though, as well as quietly getting married, Parker has ventured down various other musical avenues whilst taking some time off from touring after Currents. Parker has worked with other notable artists, producing track ‘SKELETONS’ from Travis Scott’s Astroworld and releasing a track entitled ‘My Life’ credited to Tame Impala and ZHU. Parker is also credited as a writer on the closing track of Kanye West’s Ye, ‘Violent Crimes’. He was apparently unaware that this song was featured on the album until a friend informed him after hearing it at a listening party.
‘Patience’ is sonically more recollective of Currents than of its predecessor Lonerism and even less so of 2010’s Innerspeaker, the verses revolve around a bold piano riff set to some congas that make it a real groover, this gives it a similar feel to ‘Daffodils’ a track Parker co-wrote with collaborator Mark Ronson for his album Uptown Special. Some fans have criticised Parker’s style for going down a more disco route in comparison to his more psych-rock, guitar-centric debut. I don’t think he’s ‘selling out’ at all though, in an interview a few days before the release of Currents in 2015, Parker explained that ‘he knows he could churn out psych-rock epics for the rest of his life, but he’d be bored and soon his listeners would be, too.’ If Parker was ‘selling out’ I think he’d be churning out a lot more than 3 albums in the last 9 years.
I don’t think he’s ‘selling out’ at all though
Speaking with Matt Wilkinson in a recent interview on Beats 1, Parker still remained pretty tight-lipped about any release dates of a new album, hinting that it wasn’t actually finished yet. Some fans on Reddit however believe that he could be bluffing and might drop the album any day now, Solange style. He did say in an interview last year that he would be “very disappointed” if a new record isn’t out by next summer.
Accompanied by the live band used to bring his introverted studio creations to life, Tame Impala are set to play big slots at various festivals this summer including Coachella, Glastonbury and Splendour in the Grass. This fuels the belief that a new record is imminent as one would expect the band wanting some new music that people know that they can play to these big crowds.
“There is between one and all the rest of the songs that contain congas”Kevin Parker
As well as the release of ‘Patience’, Tame Impala also debuted another new track on SNL with Sandra Oh with ‘Borderline’, more changes were evident here as Parker ditched his guitar and also performed in shoes which he has famously been opposed to wearing when playing live previously. The performance of ‘Patience’ featured Tame Impala’s monitors guy on congas, when asked on the Triple J Breakfast show if the congas appeared on other tracks from the forthcoming LP, Parker said, “there is between one and all the rest of the songs that contain congas” – this really leaves the gate open as to what Tame Impala’s fourth LP could sound like.
Although certainty isn’t really something Tame Impala fans are blessed with at the moment, I think its fair to say that Kevin Parker definitely knows how to keep listeners on their toes and I doubt the next record, whenever it comes, will disappoint.