Over the course of this site’s 10 year history, I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering the Perth, Australia-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and JOVM mainstay Kevin Parker, the creative mastermind behind the critically acclaimed and commercially successful psych pop/synth pop project Tame Impala.
Parker’s third Tame Impala album, 2015’s Currents was a critical and commercial breakthrough: released to wide-ranging critical applause across the blogosphere and elsewhere the album was a RIAA Gold-Certified, Grammy-nominated effort that revealed a decided change in direction for Parker’s songwriting and sound, as it featured some of his most emotionally direct lyrics paired with a nuanced and textured sound that drew from and meshed elements of psych rock, psych pop, prog rock, synth pop and R&B.
Released earlier this year, Parker’s fourth Tame Impala effort The Slow Rush continued an impressive and enviable run of critically applauded and commercially material, but unlike its immediate predecessor, the album thematically focuses on the rapid passing of time and life’s infinite cycles of creation and destruction — with the material conjuring the feeling of a lifetime in a lightning bolt, of major milestones and events whizzing by you while you’re staring at your phone. “A lot of the songs carry this idea of time passing, of seeing your life flash before your eyes, being able to see clearly your life from this point onwards. I’m being swept by this notion of time passing. There’s something really intoxicating about it,” Parker told the New York Times.
I’ve managed to write about four of the album’s previous release singles — the upbeat “Patience,” a single which seamlessly bridged ’90s house and ’70s funk while being a meditation on the cycles and phrases of life; “Borderline,” a hook-driven, blissed out track with house music flourishes; It Might Be Time,”a swaggering prog rock meets psych pop anthem featuring shimmering synth arpeggios, thumping beats and an enormous hook; and “Lost in Yesterday,” a woozy and lysergic, disco-tinged banger that explored time’s distorting effect on perspective and memories that suggested that given enough time, nostalgia gives even the most embittering times in your life, a rosy tinge and a sense of purpose and meaning that may not have actually existed.
The Slow Rush‘s fifth and latest single “Is It True” continues a run of swooning yet dance floor friendly material featuring handclap led percussion, synth arpeggios, Parker’s plaintive falsetto an enormous hook and a shimmering and dreamy bridge held together by a sinuous bass line. And while dance floor friendly, the track focuses on the seeming impermanence and confusion of love, and the countless paths our lives can take with just one single decision. In the song’s case, the decision is whether or not its narrator tells an object of affection how he feels for her — with the understanding that whatever happens will be life altering.
The recently released video for “Is It True” features Parker on a TV screen singing the song and rocking out to it — in front of flashing and rapidly morphing background and trippy lighting effects. At one point we see Parker laying in grassy, technicolor field, adding to the overall lysergic feel.