The Avalanches release first new song in 16 years and reveal album details

The Australian electronic act’s Wildflower will be released on 8 July, their first album since their groundbreaking debut in 2000. But will it be worth the wait?

Australian electronic act the Avalanches have premiered their first new song in 16 years and revealed details of their long-awaited second album, Wildflower.

Frankie Sinatra, the lead single of Wildflower, premiered on Australian national broadcaster Triple J on Thursday: a sprawling, sample-heavy calypso that marries Danny Brown, MF Doom and a riff from The Sound of Music in a menacingly playful tapestry.

The film clip was released shortly after the track premiered.

The Avalanches’ pioneering first album, Since I Left You, has achieved legendary status among fans. A new album has been promised since 2000, shrouded in rumours and mystery, but the band frustrated fans by taking their time.

Earlier last month, the Avalanches sparked album rumours by updating all social media accounts with an image of an embroidered butterfly. The same week they confirmed their first live shows in 15 years in Australia, Spain and England.

Album artwork of Wildflower, the long-awaited follow-up to the Avalanches’ debut album Since I Left You
Album artwork of Wildflower, the long-awaited follow-up to the Avalanches’ debut album Since I Left You Photograph: EMI

In an interview with Beats 1 Radio host Zane Lowe, two core remaining band members Tony Di Blasi and Robbie Chater revealed there were many moments over the past years where the band, like their fans, thought the album would never happen. “Having new tunes to play – that’s a really special thing.”

Wildflower, which will be released on 8 July, comprises 21 songs or “segments”, and features artists Danny Brown, MF Doom, Camp Lo, Warren Ellis, Biz Markie, Jennifer Herrema, Toro y Moi, Father John Misty and Jonathan Donahue, among others. The track Frankie Sinatra, the band said, was the hardest to finish – a sample-heavy song that took two years to mix, with over 100 reference mixes.

Speaking with Lowe in their first interview in 16 years, the Avalanches revealed they have a “vault” of unreleased music. In fact, they cut some big-name collaborations from the final record, including August Darnell from Kid Creole and the Coconuts, Luke Steele from the Sleepy Jackson and Empire of the Sun, Jens Lekman and Connan Mockasin.

They said they planned to package up and release much of their unreleased work from the past 16 years “and then the slate will be clean to release new music”.

The Avalanches said they hoped to have a full album to follow Wildflower in three years. But if past promises are anything to go by, don’t hold your breath.

Listen to the full interview below.

• Wildflower is out on 8 July through EMI


Steph Harmon

The GuardianTramp

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