Since 2010, there hasn’t been a bigger psychedelic pop band than the Kevin Parker led Tame Impala. Hailing in from Australia, Tame Impala has dominated a genre first paved by The Beatles, further cultivated by Pink Floyd and The Flaming Lips, and nuanced by contemporaries such as MGMT and Animal Collective. And with their last album, 2015’s Currents, Tame Impala became unstoppable.
But where have they been since? Despite a few festival performances—some being DJ stand-offs with famed producer Mark Ronson—Tame Impala has been largely removed from the limelight and touring circuit since the year-long promotion of Currents. Following this bout of heavy touring, Tame Impala said they were on an indefinite hiatus, concerning fans that they had no future plans to record, but Parker has since clarified that this hiatus would be from performing, and not from making music. So, will Tame Impala be releasing a new album in 2018?
Fans and critics alike have been waiting patiently for Tame Impala to pop back up in their news feeds, and just last week, it happened via the 2018 Pitchfork Music Festival lineup. Tame Impala will serve as one of the festival headliners, alongside D.R.A.M, Raphael Saadiq, Kelela, Julien Baker, and more. The fact of Tame Impala being one of the 2018 Pitchfork Festival headliners doesn’t necessarily mean he’s back on the music festival circuit, or that he’s getting ready to release a new album, but it does bode well for the future of the band.
Tame Impala hasn’t completely neglected releasing new music in the past year. This past November, Parker released Currents B-Sides & Remixes, which contained three new songs in addition to remixes of “Reality in Motion” and “Let It Happen”. Released as a part of a Currents Collectors Edition, as part of a Collectors Edition of Currents, the three new songs are titled “List Of People (To Try To Forget About)”, “Powerlines” and “Taxi’s Here”.
In an interview with Zane Lowe, Parker made it clear these songs were written and completed around the release of Currents, which squashed our hopes that these “B-Sides” were actually dropped to start hype about a new LP. But just a few days ago (March 5) Tame Impala dropped a brand new song with EDM producer Zhu. The awaited collaboration, “My Life“, is a sweet and sunny single, perfectly outfitted for daydreaming like much of Parker’s work. Check out Zhu & Tame Impala’s new single “My Life” below.
It isn’t clear which album “My Life” is going to appear on a forthcoming Tame Impala LP, or a new mixtape from Zhu or if it will land on anyone’s record at all. Either way, the hypnotic track is definitely worth listening to. We do know, that aside from collaborations with EDM producers, Tame Impala is rumored to be working on a joint album with SZA and Mark Ronson.
News of the Tame Impala, SZA, Mark Ronson collaboration arrived at the start of 2018, igniting excitement immediately. It’s an intriguing melt of strengths: Ronson’s penchant for pop music, SZA’s compelling and versatile hip-hop style, and Parker’s psychedelic sensibilities. It’s no wonder that SZA had a hard time labeling their efforts in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “When you try to label it, you remove the option for it to be limitless. It diminishes the music.”
Could there be more than anticipated collaborative albums in the vault of Kevin Parker, or will we mostly be seeing his music aligned with other artists for the near future? We hope to know more following Tame Impala’s 2018 Pitchfork Music Festival set, where he will likely be debuting (some) new music.