It’s one of Australia’s most highly anticipated albums: the Avalanches’ follow-up to their 2000 debut, Since I Left You. Previous release announcements have failed to eventuate in an actual album. Now the band have updated their social media accounts with a new image of a tiny, golden butterfly embroidered on black silk, sparking fresh chatter the album might finally see the light of day.
The band’s website, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud and a newly created Instagram account were all updated on Tuesday with the mystery photo, without explanation.
A cult following has developed around the band’s only full-length studio album, Since I Left You, which features more than 3,500 vinyl samples and the hit single Frontier Psychiatrist. The album peaked at No 8 on the UK album charts, No 21 in Australia and found fans in Europe and the US.
Multiple announcements for a sophomore album have been made over the years (in 2006 the band described it as “so fuckin’ party you will die”), with the latest in October 2015, when Modular Records took to Facebook to comment on litigation dramas with its parent company, Universal Music, and said in a throwaway line: “Stand by for news on forthcoming releases from Movement, Bag Raiders and the Avalanches.”
In February the band tweeted they were listening to tracks by Van Dyke Parks “in the studio”.
Over the years the band has lost four members – most notably founding member and multi-instrumentalist Darren Seltmann, but also turntablists Dexter Fabay and James De La Cruz and keyboardist Gordon McQuilten – leaving only Robbie Chater and Tony DiBlasi, although this line-up has not been confirmed since 2014.
The pair and their label have yet to make any official announcement but this hasn’t stopped fans and music industry pundits from speculating over what the butterfly image could mean.
Double J’s music editor, Dan Condon, noted the band’s social media refresh has occurred on the eve of the major Australian music festival Splendour in the Grass making its 2016 line-up announcement.
But after multiple album release date announcements and just as many no-shows the band is in danger of becoming “the boy who cried wolf”, with one fan writing on their Facebook page: “They’re just fucking with us again.”
Another fan said on the band’s new Instagram page: “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
A spokeswoman from the band’s record label did not want to provide comment.