A whopping four years after his last studio album, Tame Impala releases a song called “Patience.” How ironic. In fact, the opening lines of the song are “Has it really been that long? Did I count the days wrong?” The answer to both, Mr. Parker, is yes.
I don’t think anybody could have predicted what the next Tame Impala track would sound like, considering how different his sound is from album to album. He’s gone from the hard and psychedelic rock of Innerspeaker to some more introspective ethereal ‘60s pop while also further developing the styles on Innerspeaker. In 2015, he dropped Currents, which was a total curveball; Kevin went electric on this synth-heavy, sometimes soulful, contemporary sounding masterpiece of an album. In the past few years, he’s been virtually anonymous, besides for the Currents B-Sides. However, that’s not to say he wasn’t doing anything; he did several collaborations, most notably with Miguel, Theo London, and Travis Scott. He even appeared on SNL with Travis Scott and John Mayer! He also produced music for Pond, his touring band.
Moving on to the track itself, as the cover suggests, it is very percussion heavy. It is Kevin’s answer to “Harmony Hall” in that sense, although they are two very different tracks. It also features prominent acoustic piano, something which we have not heard from Kevin in the past. The track has an infectious groove and Kevin’s trademark falsetto is fantastic. I also hear heavy influence from Supertramp, whose album Breakfast in America is often cited by Kevin as his favorite album. Overall, it sounds like a blend of disco and pop rock infused with Currents-esque production and complimented by a whirlwind of synths and melodic bliss. “Patience” is not fast or aggressive, yet its pulse is invigorating.
Tame Impala plays SNL on March 30th.