Aussie plunderphonics geniuses The Avalanches have finally announced the follow-up to their 2000 debut album Since I Left You, with new record Wildflower set for release this July and new single Frankie Sinatra available now.
Wildflower will be released on Friday, 8th July, and will pack 21 fresh tracks, plus one remix, and will feature collaborators like Danny Brown, Father John Misty, Ariel Pink, Toro Y Moi and Dirty Three’s Warren Ellis. The album is also said to be heavily influenced by the music of The Beach Boys.
Speaking to Apple Music’s Zane Lowe on Beats 1, Avalanches members Tony Di Blasi and Robbie Chater were asked, of course, about why Wildflower took so god damn long.
“We just kept making music… but there was so much of it and so many projects going on,” the band say, before eventually pointing to the moment when they thought they should probably collect some stuff together and do an Avalanches record.
Chater and Di Blasi say they were caught up in other things, like working on a psychedelic animation project, helping out on a theatre production of King Kong and making “tripped-out rock and roll” with Luke Steele from Empire Of The Sun and The Sleepy Jackson — the guys say remnants of their work with Steele have made their way onto Wildflower.
The band finally booked studio time around three years ago, for their original plan, which was to record “a loose rock record with samples”. This idea eventually morphed into the group recording something that sounds like The Avalanches, but “a bit more loose and rock and roll”.
Speaking about being an Australian band, the boys say Wildflower feels like an Aussie roadtrip. “The big wide expansive country like Australia kinda sums that up. We spent a lot of our teenage years driving around cars in the country listening to music,” they say.
“That was in our heads while making this record. For us this record was supposed to capture that feeling of growing up, jump in the car, hit the road with a six pack, and you head out to the bush somewhere.”
Frankie Sinatra (below) the first track to be lifted from Wildflower, features rap heavyweights Danny Brown and MF Doom. “Frankie was a difficult record to mix actually. Got mixed for about two and a half years,” the band say.
Some of the other collaborators who appear on the album include hip hop duo Camp Lo, Mercury Rev’s Jonathan Donahue and rapper Biz Markie.
Chater and Di Blasi say The Avalanches also worked with the likes of New Zealander Connan Mockasin, Swedish musician Jens Lekman and August Darnell from Kid Creole and the Coconuts, but this material didn’t make it onto the album. It’s supposedly sitting in a vault which they say they “never want to listen to again”.
That said, the band reckon they could easily have another new album out in only three years time, which is quick by Avalanches standards.
Explaining the origins of Wildflower‘s album artwork (below), Chater and Di Blasi say the cover had humble beginnings.
“We kind of drew it on a napkin one day and gave it to our art director. We loved [Sly and the Family Stone’s] There’s a Riot Goin’ On, so it’s kind of a direct nod to that cover, just a bit more psychedelic.
“We actually got a flag manufactured — we didn’t do it digitally — and photographed it. Actually, a lady in Nebraska made the flag, she’s the world quilting champion. We only get the best in Avalanches, not the second place, not the third place.”
As for their live shows, The Avalanches say they’re currently putting together two different shows — a live band show and a DJ show, for their upcoming European tour. No word on any Australian headline dates as yet, but the band are set to perform at Splendour In The Grass this July.
Posting to social media today, The Avalanches have shared a message with fans, apologising for the long wait between albums and explaining what kept them going for all these years. They’ve also unveiled the music video for their new single, a crazy carnival-themed visual feat directed by Fleur & Manu (Drake, A$AP Rocky, M83) and shot in the bayou of New Orleans.
Catch the video and the message below, alongside the album’s cover art and tracklist.
Watch: The Avalanches – Frankie Sinatra
The Avalanches – Wildflower
01 The Leaves Were Falling
02 Because I’m Me
03 Frankie Sinatra
05 Going Home
06 If I Was a Folkstar
09 The Noisy Eater
12 Live a Lifetime Love
13 Park Music
14 Livin’ Underwater (Is Somethin’ Wild)
15 The Wozard of Iz
16 Over the Turnstiles
18 Light Up
19 Kaleidoscopic Lovers
21 Saturday Night Inside Out
22 Frankie Sinatra (Extended Mix)