Just a few weeks ago, Theophilus London and Tame Impala‘s Kevin Parker gave listeners a taste of their collaborative Theo Impala project at a sold-out show in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the rest of the world was left reeling with anticipation and the hope that the tunes would hit the internet.
For now, their collaborative efforts include an original titled “Whiplash” and the duo’s own take on Nigerian singer-songwriter Steve Monite’s 1984 hit “Only You.” Now, they’ve shared a psychedelic Frankie Latina-directed video for “Only You” and it’s an endearing belter with the homemade VHS feel to match.
When Travis Scott takes the stage alongside John Mayer and Tame Impala, it’s more than safe to say that “Sicko Mode” is fully engaged. Scott made his Saturday Night Live debut during the October 6 installment of the show, when he circled through New York to vocalize several Astroworld selections alongside genre-bending assistants, John Mayer and Tame Impala. Scott delivered a smooth “Skeletons” and “Astrothunder” medley, additionally catering to the crowd in his performance of recent fan-favorite, “Sicko Mode.” Kevin Parker of Tame Impala assisted on the guitar, as did the equally illustrious John Mayer.
A production that has witnessed some of the most rapid chart upstarts of 2018 thus far, Astroworld charted all 17 of its total tracks on Billboard’s Hot 100. Scott’s sophomore outing, Astroworld followed the chart movement of Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight, Scott’s debut album that also rocketed to the number one spot on the charts immediately after its 2016 release. Astroworld saw a number of noteworthy appearances from industry fixtures like The Weeknd, Quavo, Pharrell, and more.
There’s been no shortage of new ZHU teases from the enigmatic artist’s hotly anticipated second album. The hype has reached fever pitch with singles featuring top tier collaborators, including a genius link with Tame Impala‘s Kevin Parker for “My Life,” and a satin smooth joint effort with Majid Jordan, “Coming Home.” Now, ZHU has unveiled his master plan with a full track list, official cover art, and release date. Ringos Desert hits stores and streaming September 7 on his longtime home label, Mind of a Genius records.
The album’s 14 tracks include previously released singles, as well as material from ZHU’s spring EP,RINGOS DESERT PT. 1. Despite the track list’s heavy chunk of available material, the full experience promises plenty of future hits – including monster collaborators like Karnaval Blues and TOKIMONSTA. The same day his sophomore LP drops, ZHU will kick off his DUNE tour in El Ray, California. Can’t wait until September to hear the new LP? The “Working For It” producer has an ultra secret BLACKLIZT premiere party planned somewhere in the sands of the Mojave on August 31.
Apple Music/Beats1 host Matt Wilkinson had the chance to sit down with Tame Impala mastermind Kevin Parker in a recent interview. Chatting about recent collaborations, live performances, and the band’s upcoming album, Wilkinson dives in to give us a picture of the frontman’s post-Currents life.
Parker talks about the possibility of new music from Tame Impala. Without giving too much away, the Australian artist notes that he would be “very disappointed” if there was not a new Tame Impala album out by this time next year. While the details remain hazy, and the direction that the band will take its music unknown, recent collaborations with ZHU, Miguel, and Mark Ronson may suggest a continuation of the accessible yet psychedelic dance-pop sound explored on Currents.
While Kevin Parker’s part-introvert, part-socialite personality allows him to lock himself away in an oceanside cabin to complete a project, it also means he can be a fervent collaborator. He spent time in the studio with SZA recently, and while rumors swirl about a full length project from the pair, he notes that he “can’t really do anything more than hope” that the music will come out, though he suggests that at least one track, titled “Back Together,” would be the most likely to emerge. Parker also speaks on some brief studio time with Travis Scott, though no concrete material seemed to surface from that session. On the other side of the spectrum, the frontman said he would be happy to collaborate with the Arctic Monkey‘s frontman Alex Turner, a pairing that would surely set the indie world on fire. While we haven’t received any new music from Tame Impala today, Kevin Parker’s busy schedule and vast reach in the world of music should have fans of the band looking forward to the next few months.
Earlier this year, ZHU and Tame Impala released “My Life,” one of the most anticipated and acclaimed collaborations of 2018. Looking to add even more intrigue to the psychedelic track, the artists have now released a stunning music video featuring none other than Willow Smith.
The video begins with Smith at the scene of a fatal car accident before flashing back to the story of her relationship with the victim. A picturesque tale of two romances unfolds, leading the timeline back to just moments before the crash.
The emotional video comes at the same time as an seven-track remix album for the heartfelt song, featuring Kyle Watson‘s dark house take on the collaboration. Artists like Just A Gent and KRANE each give the song an energetic electronic flair with their remixes, while Klangstof brings a subtle indie vibe into the mix. With a slew of remixes and a powerful video, this new-classic will have some serious staying power for years to come.
Zhu has officially announced phase one of his upcoming “Dune” tour, which kicks off this fall and will be making stops in LA, Brooklyn, Toronto and more. In tangent with the first wave of tour dates, he’s also released part 1 of his upcoming album — and bringing 2.5 tons of sand on the road with him to make for a truly unique live experience. In this case, part 1 is in the form of snippets that serve as background music under a voicemail by manager Jake Udell (who doesn’t seem too happy about the idea of touring with all that sand in the trunk).
Sources say the EP is set to release on April 26th — although they say Zhu himself will not announce it — and tickets will go on sale Friday April 27th. However, fans can get more information on pre-sale tickets in the meantime by texting “dune” to 773-8BL-KLZT (825-5598).
Hopefully ZHU and Kevin Parker have more shared work stocked away on a hard drive somewhere, because one single may not be enough. The Tame Impala frontman and enigmatic Mind of a Genius producer were slated for a new joint effort in 2018, and they’ve finally delivered their hotly anticipated new collaboration, “My Life,” a top-notch piece of indie-dance excellence that plays upon both artists most venerable qualities in a seamlessly complementary fashion.
It’s dreamy and palatably psychedelic, carried by Parker’s characteristically sublime vocal work — and while the composition isn’t ZHU’s typically cool, after hours-ready warehouse fare, the step outside of his comfort zone is certainly commendable. “My Life” leans more progressive house, at times even revealing a subtle trance inspiration, driven by its understated percussion arrangements, pronounced keys, and fluttering vocal loops.
Tame Impala’s last output was 2015’s Currents, though Parker has kept busy between records working with the likes of Mark Ronson, Lady Gaga, and SZA. ZHU on the other hand is continuing a white-hot output streak following 2017’s Adidas partnership and his newly inked deal with new Chinese dance label Liquid State. Hopefully a quick stop to smell the roses on “My Life” turned out more than just a single tune though, because Kevin Parker and ZHU make a quality pairing.
During a recent performance in China, Zhu took the opportunity to officially confirm to fans that the collaboration does in fact exist and it is underway, and later confirmed in a statement by the “Waters of Monaco” producer’s management team.
Zhu’s exciting news didn’t stop there though. The aforementioned performance in China came as part of a launch event for a new Chinese electronic dance music label called Liquid State, which will host releases from Zhu, Alan Walker, and burgeoning Chinese artists, among others in 2018. Liquid State is backed by Sony and Chinese streaming and tech powerhouse Tencent Music Entertainment. The new imprint will develop dance content with the intent of leveraging Tencent’s streaming services QQ Music, Kugou Music, and Kuwo Music to distribute said content. The move was effectively sealed by a reported 10% equity swap between Tencent and Sony’s licensing partner, Spotify, in December. Tencent, by comparison, boasts nearly double the users as Spotify across their three platforms.
Last summer at Governor’s Ball — during Kevin Parker (Tame Impala) and Mark Ronson‘s DJ set — the DJ duo premiered a collaborative single with breakout R&B pop star SZA. Since then, Parker and Ronson have played a slew of DJ sets together, and Tame Impala has stayed out of the limelight, save for a Currents B-Sides release and festival announcement at Madrid’s Mad Cool Fest.