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Borderline (Tame Impala song)

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Single by Tame Impala
from the album The Slow Rush
Released12 April 2019 (2019-04-12)
Length3:57 (album remaster)
4:34 (original single)
Songwriter(s)Kevin Parker
Producer(s)Kevin Parker
Tame Impala singles chronology
"It Might Be Time"
Alternative cover
Single cover of Blood Orange remix
Single cover of Blood Orange remix

"Borderline" is a song by the Australian psychedelic music project Tame Impala. It is the third track on the 2020 studio album The Slow Rush, and was released as a single on 12 April 2019 through Modular Recordings.[6] The song was written by Kevin Parker, who performed all instruments and vocals. The song was influenced by yacht rock and disco, and the lyrics explore nihilism and insecurity.[7] It was debuted during the band's performance on Saturday Night Live on 30 March; Parker ad-libbed much of the initial lyrics since he had not yet finalised them.[8]

The single release in 2019 predated any details about The Slow Rush, which was delayed until 2020. Parker reworked the song for its inclusion on the album, making musical and lyrical changes. He revealed that he altered the song for the album mainly because he realised the bassline was not prominent enough. After releasing the album, the previously released single version of "Borderline" was removed from all streaming services.[9]

Background and production[edit]

After spending extensive time working on Tame Impala's third album Currents (2015), Kevin Parker decided to shift away from being a perfectionist towards more spontaneity, adding that if he "finds something that sounds good I should just do it and not think about it". "Borderline" was released as a single in 2019 but was reworked and re-released for multiple reasons. For one, Parker said he had accidentally made the bassline too quiet, and also wanted to change a few other elements of the song, as he had been pressured to release it prematurely. He elaborated: "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."[10]


Tame Impala debuted the song during a 30 March 2019 performance on Saturday Night Live. Since the song had not been released yet, Parker sang some improvised lyrics that were later changed. He later announced the release of the song through Instagram, posting the cover art with the caption "Friday".[6][11]

Critical reception[edit]

In a mention of the band's Saturday Night Live performance, Music Feeds called the song a "groovy, toe-tapping lounge chiller".[12] Triple J ranked it 18th in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 2019.[13]




Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[21] Platinum 70,000
France (SNEP)[22] Gold 100,000
Poland (ZPAV)[23] Gold 25,000
Portugal (AFP)[24] Gold 5,000
United Kingdom (BPI)[25] Platinum 600,000
United States (RIAA)[26] Platinum 1,000,000

Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Stavropoulos, Laura (9 April 2019). "Tame Impala Announce New 2019 UK Touring Dates". UDiscoverMusic. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  2. ^ Larson, Jeremy D. (12 April 2019). ""Borderline" by Tame Impala Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  3. ^ Helman, Peter (12 April 2019). "Tame Impala – "Patience"". Stereogum. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  4. ^ Kaye, Ben (12 April 2019). "Tame Impala release new single 'Borderline': Stream". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  5. ^ Bote, Joshua (12 April 2019). "Tame Impala Releases A Decadent New Song, 'Borderline'". NPR. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  6. ^ a b Minsker, Evan (9 April 2019). "Tame Impala Releasing New Song "Borderline" This Week". Pitchfork. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Tame Impala Embraces Meaninglessness on "Borderline"". www.34st.com. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  8. ^ Aubrey, Elizabeth (8 April 2019). "Tame Impala announce new 2019 UK tour dates". NME. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  9. ^ Why Tame Impala updated 'Borderline' for The Slow Rush, retrieved 2020-05-16
  10. ^ "Tame Impala – The Slow Rush: A Deep Dive with Kevin Parker". Spotify. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  11. ^ "Tame Impala – The Slow Rush: A Deep Dive with Kevin Parker". Spotify. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  12. ^ Mack, Emmy (31 March 2019). "Watch Tame Impala Debut Groovy New Song 'Borderline' Live On 'SNL'". Music Feeds. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  13. ^ "Triple J's Hottest 100: Staff List". Triple J. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  14. ^ "Week Commencing 24 February 2020". The ARIA Report. No. 1564. Australian Recording Industry Association. 24 February 2020.
  15. ^ "Irish-charts.com – Discography Tame Impala". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 22 February 2020.
  16. ^ "NZ Hot Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  17. ^ "Tame Impala – Borderline". AFP Top 100 Singles. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  18. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 February 2020.
  19. ^ "Tame Impala Chart History (Hot Rock & Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  20. ^ "Hot Pop Songs – Year-End 2019". Billboard. Archived from the original on 5 December 2019. Retrieved 12 December 2019.
  21. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2020 Singles" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 15 October 2022.
  22. ^ "French single certifications – Tame Impala – Borderline" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 4 May 2024.
  23. ^ "OLiS - oficjalna lista wyróżnień" (in Polish). Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 22 February 2023. Click "TYTUŁ" and enter Borderline in the search box.
  24. ^ "Portuguese single certifications – Tame Impala – Borderline" (PDF) (in Portuguese). Associação Fonográfica Portuguesa. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  25. ^ "British single certifications – Tame Impala – Borderline". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 17 May 2024.
  26. ^ "American single certifications – Tame Impala – Borderline". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 15 February 2022.