“Padam, padam, I hear it and I know…”
It’s been nearly a full decade since Kylie Minogue last set her sights on present-day pop.
Think about it: 2020’s nostalgic lockdown escape Disco was an ode to, well, disco, Golden was her Nashville-inspired yee-haw fantasy back in 2018, and 2015’s Kylie Christmas was, of course, a festive moment.
She hasn’t actually put out a non-concept based record since 2014’s Kiss Me Once. And now, it’s time to break the Tension.
After revealing the title, cover, release date and track listing for her upcoming 16th studio album out on September 22, the Fever icon formally kicked off the campaign with “Padam Padam” on Thursday (May 18).
With its ominous synths, warped vocals (“Padam…“) and instantly sticky chorus, “Padam Padam” is undeniably fierce and fresh, finding its footing nicely within the chilly robo-EDM sound of the moment. It feels like an INNA offering, or one of Tiësto‘s club bangers with Ava Max (“The Motto”) and Tate McRae (“10:35”) – both of which also happen to be co-written by “Padam Padam” producer and co-writer Lostboy. (Sadly, since it’s a song of the moment, it also means we’re forgoing a proper bridge. Thank you, streaming era.)
Like many a Minogue dance floor anthem, it’s all about catching feelings with a quick glance – it’s “Love at First Sight,” if you will – and imagining all the possibilities of what comes after the club. Our Mighty Aphrodite is especially lusty this time around (“I know you wanna take me home / And take off all my clothes…“) In fact, it’s the horniest she’s been in ages. She’s got Nu-Di-Ty on the brain!
“We don’t need to use our words / Wanna see what’s underneath that T-shirt…”
If the song is reminiscent of anything in the Minogue discography, it’s something glitchy and glossy from the edgy electro-pop X era, a la “Cherry Bomb,” or perhaps 2012’s “Timebomb.” And maybe her other pulsating one-off a year later, “Skirt.”
And then there’s the music video, directed by Sophie Muller, who’s been along for the ride with Kylie since “Dancing.” How do you describe a feeling? She looks absolutely incredible, and the red custom Mugler catsuit and sheer cape feel like an instantly iconic addition to the Kylie visual catalog.
36+ years deep into her career, Kylie – our most generous and consistently reliable pop queen – sounds right at home on the effortlessly cool “Padam Padam,” a song that deserves to be the latest in her string of smashes.
A bunch of Tension variants are available now on Kylie‘s store. (That rainbow cover, especially, is giving shades of Impossible Princess.)
Photo credit: Sophie Muller/BMG