NME Festival blog: Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker explains why he revised ‘Borderline’ for ‘The Slow Rush’

by Karen Gwee
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Today (February 14), Tame Impala released their new album, ‘The Slow Rush’ – which features a new version of the previously released track ‘Borderline’. In a new interview, Kevin Parker has explained why he put an alternate version on the record.

‘Borderline’ had a 4:34 runtime when it was initially released in 2019. The album version shaves just over 30 seconds off the track’s length, and makes the bassline more prominent. Hear the version of ‘Borderline’ on ‘The Slow Rush’ here:

In an interview with Lucy Smith of Australian radio station triple j, which was released on YouTube yesterday (February 13), Parker laughs when the presenter brings up the adjusted track (“speaking of overthinking things…”).

“I was so in my own head about the song,” Parker grimaces. “The way I describe it is the way it sounds now is the way I was hearing it when I released it the first time. So for me, the drums sounded just heaps more hard-hitting.

“And it was just things that I could hear in the song that I didn’t realise no one else could, for example, the bassline, which was just kind of an example of lack of perspective when you’re working on a song, or anything that anyone’s working on ever. You lose perspective when you’re working on it, which is good, too, it’s kind of beautiful that you have no idea what you’re doing.”

Parker then added he realised listeners tended not to hear the bassline in the first version: “It just sounds like it’s mixed in with the song… I just realised I wasn’t finished with it.”

Stream the 2019 version of ‘Borderline’ below:

He then concurred with Smith that readjusting songs could be a “slippery slope”. “It’s dangerous,” he said. “But I also think the way the world changes and the way the music changes and the way it’s made, it paves the way for things like that that are new and scary at the time.

“But at the end of the day, music is what music is because of the way we listen to it and the way we made it. The fact that songs are usually four minutes and albums usually 40 minutes – it’s kind of just like, why are those things the way they are?”

Watch Smith’s full interview with Parker on triple j here:

‘The Slow Rush’ is Tame Impala’s fourth studio album. Besides ‘Borderline’, it also featured the singles ‘It Might Be Time’, ‘Posthumous Forgiveness’ and ‘Lost In Yesterday’.

In a separate interview, Parker revealed the album was influenced by Travis Scott and shopping while stoned.





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