Tame Impala Test Our “Patience” with Return to the Music Scene

Robin Blassberg   A&E Editor

On April 12, Australian music project Tame Impala released “Borderline,” their second single in the past few weeks, spearheading their arrival back to the music scene.
Tame Impala, who is Kevin Parker, the writer, recorder, performer, and producer of the music, has not had a release since the summer of 2015 with “Currents.” This album was a commercial success, debuting at number one in Australia and obtaining the number four spot on the Billboard 200 in the United States. Although successful, the album did stray away from the band’s typical genre, rock, and danced into listener’s ears with disco beats reminiscent of the ‘70s. Tame Impala seem to be following this formula with the release of “Borderline,” and “Patience,” the latter released on March 29.

Just in time for summer, “Borderline” steers the band into an upbeat and funk-inspired direction. The famous synths that are prevalent in their music make a return, reminding listener’s of past albums. In true Tame Impala fashion, instrumentals that make you want to dance are paired with solemn lyrics. Parker seems to be pondering love and heartbreak, a relationship that is soon to be ending, as he claims, “We’re on the borderline/Caught between the tides of pain and rapture.” Feeling lost is also a recurring theme for Parker, as the bridge is filled with rhetorical questions, sung out in a sort of stream of consciousness. He asks of the subject of the song, which changes between himself and his soon to be ex lover, “Will I be known and loved?/Is there one I trust?” Rhetorical questions are also present in “Patience.”

Long awaited by fans, “Patience” seems to be a nod to the four-year hiatus taken by the Australian band. Time seems to be weighing down on Parker as he questions, “Has it really been that long?/Did I count the days wrong?/Did we just go ‘round and ‘round/All the way to step one?” The idea of time being fleeting is also expressed as he shares that he’s “…livin’ life in phases/Another season changes/And still, my days are shapeless,” seemingly growing weary of this fact, he reassures himself that patience is the key, signified by the song’s title. He is “waiting for a change to come” since all he’s “doin’ with [his] luck” is “givin up.” Though the lyrics of “Patience” can be desolate at times, Parker’s light and airy voice stringing out the words and bright piano brings listener’s imagination into a lively disco of the ‘70s.

In an interview with Australia’s “The Sunday Times,” Parker gives some insight into his thoughts on the upcoming album. Aware of the fan’s eagerness, he reveals that he believes “Anticipation is good…I want to be the kind of artist that feels empowered by people waiting to hear what I’ve got.” As a result, he shares that he will be “very disappointed” if the new album is not released by this summer. For now, Tame Impala will be bracing the stage at festivals around the world, their first being Coachella on April 13.

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