Tame Impala have begun hinting at something for September with the release of a cryptic teaser video advertising a fake drug called Rushium.
Released today (June 22), the minute-long clip is stacked with trippy and abstract imagery: sprawling sand dunes, metallic liquid flowing and contorting, and a kaleidoscopic mashup of a brain and electrical cords.
Among it all, we see snippets of Kevin Parker working in a laboratory and looking ominously at a vial of his medical concoction, holding it close to the camera to reveal its label reading “Tame Impala / 2021 V.1 Clinical Trial / S.R. Tour”. A closing title card reads “Phase 1 Clinical Trials Begin 09/2021”.
Take a look at the video below:
Per a website set up to promote AionWell, the (fake) brand behind the drug, Rushium offers users “a new lease on life and a refreshed internal clock”. Though the site doesn’t give away what Tame Impala have in-store come September, the inclusion of “S.R. Tour” on the Rushium label implies it has something to do with the ongoing touring cycle for Tame Impala’s fourth album, ‘The Slow Rush’.
The band have already announced a slate of touring plans for the album, however, with a North American tour set to keep them busy from July through October, and an Australian run locked in for December. They also have a full slate of festival appearances lined up, including stops at Outside Lands, Bonnaroo, Life Is Beautiful and Firefly throughout the remainder of 2021, and Primavera Sound next year.
Earlier this month, Parker teased that a track he and Mark Ronson worked on with SZA could be released in the near future. The psych-rock luminary has plenty of other unreleased collaborations in his pocket, too, including tracks with Internet Money and Gorillaz.
‘The Slow Rush’ was released last February via Modular, and was supported by singles like ’Borderline’ , ‘Posthumous Forgiveness’, ‘Lost In Yesterday’, and ‘Is It True’. The band also released an 18-minute extended version of the album’s opening cut, ‘One More Year’.
In a four-star review, NME writer Thomas Smith praised ‘The Slow Rush’ as an evolution of Tame Impala’s sound, saying the band were “unlikely to lose any fans by embracing Parker’s pop sensibilities – genres are history, man – but you have to admire their wilful desire to push into new directions.”
Speaking to NME ahead of the LP’s release, Parker spoke of the fantastical element of Tame Impala, saying: “I’ve always considered Tame Impala as a thing that people can use to escape from whatever the physical strains and problems in their life are. Tame Impala is the fantasy [fiction] of music. It’s The Lord Of The Rings.”
In March, Tame Impala celebrated the belated tenth anniversary of their debut album ‘InnerSpeaker’ with the release of a deluxe reissue and short film titled InnerSpeaker Memories. Parker also recently released a song to support his favourite football team, the Fremantle Dockers.