Tame Impala – Patience
“Has it really been that long? Did I count the days wrong?” If the opening lines of Tame Impala’s much anticipated return are anything, it’s self-aware. The track is the psychedelic outfit’s first release since 2015’s massively successful Currents.
“Patience” feels like the group is picking up right where they left off. It has the astral scope that Tame Impala are known for. The track relies on heavy synths, bass, and phaser effects, yet this new track also feels very fresh.
It opens with a dreamy, waltzing piano sequence that shifts into an infectious congo drum pulse. In a twist for Tame Impala, guitar use is limited. Instead, “Patience” feels like a happier, groovier combination of “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” and their remix of Miguel’s “Waves.”
Despite their four year hiatus, the group has been busy – especially leadman Kevin Parker. Parker has appeared on tracks and projects with the likes of Kanye West, Travis Scott, Kali Uchis, and Lady Gaga; Rihanna even covered one of their songs.
Even during their four-year drought, Tame Impala is among the best modern rock bands, and certainly carry significant influence across genres. If you still haven’t treated yourself to the kaleidoscopic soundscapes of Currents or Lonerism, you should. They’re great.
This release should mean a Tame Impala album is inbound, which will be a treat for any music fan. “Patience” is a good first step, let’s just hope we don’t have to wait too much longer to vibe out with the rest of it.
Pivot Gang – Studio Ground Rules
Pivot Gang, the Chicago-based rap group featuring Saba, is looking to release their first album together. The new single “Studio Ground Rules” sets the baseline for what it means to be in the studio with Pivot, as Saba, Frsh Waters, and MFn Melo trade verses with laid-back delivery. If this rulemaking track is any indication, the rest of the album should follow suit as a project that won’t be playing games.
The rules of Pivot’s studio are pretty simple, and while the enumerations are plenty, it all comes down to one thing: be low-key. Reflected by their soothing tones and “chill out” messages, while each featured artist shows what their studio is all about, they don’t make a huge case for filling an entire album with their sound.
Pivot, led by brothers Saba and Joseph Chilliams, haven’t dropped an album as a group before, but have all proven diverse skills of production, lyricism, and entertaining delivery throughout the years. You could dive into their discographies at almost any entry point, but perhaps the most accessible is Saba’s Bucket List Project.
While “Studio Ground Rules,” won’t enthrall you into Pivot’s next biggest fan, check it out as the third in their series of introductions to the world of hip-hop as a next-up rap group.
Foster The People – Style
You’ve heard “Pumped Up Kicks.” You’ve probably heard “Sit Next To Me” too. Whether most people know it or not, Foster The People are a fixture of mainstream pop rock. They make catchy songs that you can vibe to or dance aimlessly into the night with.
Their newest single, “Style” does pretty much that. It shows off the band’s diverse range while still feeling wholly their own project. Don’t expect something like “Pumped Up Kicks” from this; rather it’s a very fun, happy-go-lucky track. As the synths sway in the background you can almost feel frontman Mark Foster strut to the beat, urging the audience to “take me out in style.” It has a poppy swagger to it that is emboldened by a clever rock background.
Don’t be surprised if you see this song show up soon in a car commercial or movie trailer. Foster The People are a very solid band and, if “Style” and their other recently released single “Worst Nites” are any indication, their new album should be something you can bump all summer long.
Logic – Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
While he might never return to Old Logic, “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” continues a narrative-building 2019 for a Logic that seems to be looking back to his roots under the over-scrutiny of music media. He’s making jokes about his own references to his race, he’s making songs that are much closer to his early 2010s mixtape days, and he’s looking jacked (or just gaining weight? I can’t tell).
Similarity of cover art between “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” and his other recent single, “Keanu Reeves” imply that these are part of a more concerted comeback attempt than other tries in the past. The Bobby Tarantino series, as well as YSIV – while representing good faith – just missed the mark in recreating former glory. Hopefully these prove he’s on the right track.
6ix serves Logic a tailor-made, ice-cold beat featuring gritty drums and sparse soul chops. It’s exactly this type of beat that Logic’s established as his bread-and-butter, so it’s no surprise that he comes out the gates charging and never lets up.
He does well to get back to the flows that got him on the map, telling stories of personal struggles with mental health. He touches on why he’s receded from the spotlight in recent times, likening his plans changing “like the homie that switched from Verizon to Sprint.” The reference reminds fans of old why he caught their ears in the first place.
Logic sounds passionate and inspired on “CoaDM” — a place the Maryland MC finds too rarely. On this track, however, Logic has no shortage of things to say, and the result is a refined, hungry performance with a lot less filler than he often includes.
This track isn’t going to gain Logic any new fans, but it confirms that Logic is still in the game. He’s got two more albums on the way, and while one is rumored to be more singing-heavy, the other should feature Logic at his most lyrical.