Aussie psych-rock stars Tame Impala made their SNL debut on last night’s Sandra Oh-hosted episode, drumming up hype for their first new album since 2015’s Grammy-nominated Currents by performing its lead single, the recently released “Patience,” and debuting a new song, “Borderline.”
Bathed in kaleidoscopic light, frontman Kevin Parker doesn’t touch his guitar until halfway through “Patience,” a testament to Tame’s continued relocation from the rock show to the dance floor. While Currents found them gravitating more towards a synth-forward, hook-heavy sound, they go full dance-pop on “Patience,” which Paste intern Clare Martin described upon its release as “a dance floor-ready combination of ‘70s disco and ‘90s house, punctuated by uplifting piano.”
Their new song follows suit: “Borderline” is characterized by Supertramp-adjacent keys, the pitter-patter of congas and a set of misfit synths, some oceanic, others a buzzy squelch. Parker doesn’t pick up a guitar at all on this one, instead delivering dance moves and voluminous vocals, including call-and-response-esque choruses in which he sings from the perspective of “a loner in L.A.” who asks himself again and again, “Will I be known and loved?”
We have to think Tame Impala are about to be known and loved by quite a few new fans. The band is headlining high-profile festivals left and right in 2019, including Coachella, Shaky Knees, Corona Capital, Boston Calling, Primavera, Glastonbury, Lollapalooza and Pukkelpop. They’re ideally suited to the current festival sensibility, really, combining indie-rock cred and pop appeal both.
Watch Parker and company perform “Borderline” and “Patience” on SNL below, and catch their 2010 Daytrotter Session further down. You can get caught up on everything we know so far about Tame Impala’s new album here.