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Tame Impala - The Slow Rush

Earlier this year Tame Impala released their long-awaited new album The Slow Rush. This album has definitely been among my favourites of this year’s releases.

It has been 5 years since they released their previous record Currents so I was very excited to finally hear some new music from them. The band saw success with Currents, their single The Less I Know the Better being at the top of the Hottest 100 Songs of the Decade meant The Slow Rush had a tough act to follow. I think they did a great job on this album. It has their usual relaxed psych pop/rock tone but this time with a more melancholy feel in some of the songs. This album definitely gives off a nostalgic vibe, especially with their single Lost In Yesterday. But the album has many upbeat songs throughout like their opening track One More Year, Glimmer, and Is It True. To me, Tame Impala have a very unique sound and are very difficult to compare to other bands and I believe that is what makes them so successful.

This album has a warmth to it that makes me think of summer. It definitely has a sunny afternoon feel, especially with some of the slower tracks like Instant Destiny and Posthumous Forgiveness. The lyrics of some songs are optimistic and others talk about insecurities and pressure which are both quite reassuring and comforting in different ways. I think it also reflects the fact that the band felt a lot of pressure for this album following the great success of Currents and the amount of time it had been since its release.

One thing I loved about the previous album which they have definitely continued in this album and done even better is their drum sounds. Their drumming has a completely unique sound and is brought to the forefront of their music. Drumming can often be left in the background of a lot of music and is simply there to keep the beat but in this album, they often get the centre of attention. You can especially hear this in It Might Be Time.

I also love the way they mix synth sounds with real instruments, often using a synth keyboard with a heavier guitar or bass sound. They did this more in Currents but their song One More Hour is a great example of this. The ‘real’ instruments almost morph into synth sounds, and the guitar solo seems to interchange between both sounds which makes for a great climax at the end of the album.

When I first listened to this album, I liked it, but having loved Currents so much I wasn’t sure if I could like this one as much. But The Slow Rush is one of those albums that grow on you. The more you listen to it, the more you notice. Their songs have many layers and every time you listen, you’ll hear something new and so this album has continued to grow on me since I heard it for the first time. Some days I actually prefer it to Currents. It has a beat that you’ll want to nod your head to – even dance to, which is something that’s really fun about this album.

The artwork for this album is really cool as well. Tame Impala is known to have a cool aesthetic and the artwork for Currents was no exception so I was looking forward to seeing what the artwork for The Slow Rush would look like, and it didn’t disappoint. I love the bright red colour and interesting ideas for their main album cover and the contrasting blue colour for their single It Might Be Time.

Glimmer and On Track are among my favourite songs on the album. They are quite different songs, with Glimmer being a fun upbeat song with a funky retro feel that makes you want to dance along. On Track, on the other hand is a slower dreamy track with a melancholy feel to it despite its uplifting lyrics. But Posthumous Forgiveness has to be one of the best tracks on the album with its two distinct parts it could be heard as two separate songs with the intensity of the first part in contrast to the more sombre feel of the second part. I love every song on this album, there isn’t one song that doesn’t feel like it belongs on the record and they all stand out for different reasons.

Thanks for reading, and do let Elin know what you think of this album on the After Midnight Facebook page or in the comments below.

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