What does Kylie Minogue's comeback hit Padam Padam mean? First single from Tension album explained

Kylie has revealed her new single will be released in May, ahead of her latest album in September

Kylie Minogue has thrilled fans by announcing the release of her 16th studio album, Tension. While the full album won’t be available to buy until September, people don’t have to wait long to hear new music from the Australian songstress as a single from the album, Padam Padam, is due for release tomorrow (Thursday 18 May).

The ‘Can’t Get You Out of my Head’ singer took to her official Instagram account to announce the news on Friday 12 May, writing “baby break the tension ….. my brand new album TENSION will be yours on 22nd September! The first single PADAM PADAM is coming soon!”. She then confirmed on Tuesday 16 May that Padam Padam would be released two days later.

As they wait for the new song to drop, fans have been left pondering exactly what the title ‘Padam Padam’ means. NationalWorld has done some research and discovered that the answer may not be straightforward. Bear with us while we explain the various theories.

A made up word

Kylie is not the first singer to release a song called Padam Padam. In fact, the title was first given to a song by French singer Édith Piaf in 1951. The song is about a music-related memory and Piaf describes how a certain melody evokes in her memories of a former lover. Translated into English, the song contains the lyrics: “This tune that knows everything by heart, he says "remember your loves, remember since it's your turn, there's no reason for you not to cry, with your memories on your arms". Minogue’s song is not a cover of Piaf’s song, but some people believe that Piaf coined the word padam as an onomatopoeia for the beat of waltz music. The word padam is repeated throughout the song, with some suggesting that this represents that painful memories of lost love are constantly recurring. There is also some suggestion that padam could relate to the sound of a constantly beating, but broken, heart.

A verb meaning to extinguish or turn off

The word padam could be a verb which means either to extinguish or turn off, according to Wikitionary. We’ll be honest, this one doesn’t seem to make much sense in the context of a song. But, perhaps more may be revealed when Kylie’s song is revealed.

A noun meaning a type of song or dance or an Indian tribe

Padam people live in India. Padam is a sub-tribe of the Adi tribe of Abotani clan, which are one of the most populous groups of indigenous peoples in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. Padam could also refer to a form of Carnatic music, a type of short song, or an accompanying dance which is popular in Indian states. Again, we’d say it’s highly unlikely that this is what Kylie’s singing about.

Kylie Minogue will release new single Padam Padam in May 2023, and then a new album called Tension in September.Kylie Minogue will release new single Padam Padam in May 2023, and then a new album called Tension in September.
Kylie Minogue will release new single Padam Padam in May 2023, and then a new album called Tension in September.

A French acronym

Padam is apparently a French acronym used to describe someone who won't sleep with their other half before they develop true feelings for them or fall in love with them, according to Urban Dictionary. Now, this explanation may seem a little left field at first glance, but considering that a preview of the song that Kylie posted on her Instagram page revealed the upbeat electronic song includes the lyrics “Padam padam, I hear it and I know, padam padam, I know you want to take me home, padam padam, and get to know me”, there could actually be a link here. Once again, we’ll have to wait until we hear the full song to know how true this link could be.

You can listen to the preview of the song yourself below.

The song is reportedly about Minogue getting intimate with a mystery man, however, according to The Sun. Other lyrics from the song include: "I know you wanna take me home, and take off all my clothes. This place is crowding up, I think it's timе for you to take me out this club. And we don't need to usе our words, wanna see what's underneath that T-shirt”.  

What has Kylie Minogue said about her new album?

Minogue told The Sun that her new album, Tension, is about honouring what’s going on in her life now. She said: "The album is a mix of songs I have written and songs which really spoke to me. Making this album helped me navigate challenging times and celebrate the now.”

She added that the album doesn’t have a theme, unlike her previous two albums Disco (2020) and Golden (2018). “I started this album with an open mind and a blank page. Unlike my last two albums there wasn’t a ‘theme,’ it was about finding the heart or the fun or the fantasy of that moment and always trying to service the song. I wanted to celebrate each song’s individuality and to dive into that freedom. I would say it’s a blend of personal reflection, club abandon and melancholic high.”

When will Kylie’s new 2023 music be released?

Minogue’s latest album Tension will be released on Friday 22 September 2023. It is not yet available to pre-order, but you can follow the singer’s official Instagram account for all the latest information. The single Padam Padam will be released on Thursday 18 May. It will be played on national radio for the first time in the UK on BBC Radio 2 by DJ Gary Davies at 8.30am on 18 May.