The Avalanches' Frankie Sinatra: first new music in 16 years airs on Triple J

Last modified: 04: 38 AM GMT+0

Frankie Sinatra is the first track the Avalanches have released since their landmark debut, Since I Left You

The Avalanches release new song and video and reveal full album details

That's all!

Thanks for following along with us; a news article is on its way, and hopefully a playable stream of the new track too. Until then, it’s probably getting blasted across national radio, so you can listen there. Farewell!

Update: The track has now been officially released on YouTube, enjoy!


“Having new tunes to play – that’s a really special thing,” say the Avalanches – who leave the interview with Zane Lowe with a promise: they reckon they’ll have another new album in three years.

The Avalanches are now discussing working with Father John Misty, Warren Ellis (an “odd one out”, they say, with a country feel) and Toro y Moi on different album tracks. “That piece of music is really old,” they say, of Toro y Moi. “We’ve had it hanging it around for years. We didn’t know what to do with it.”

There were a few collaborators that got cut from Wildflower, too: August Darnell from Kid Creole and the Coconuts, Luke Steele from Sleepy Jackson and Empire of the Sun (“that almost made it actually ... we just couldn’t find a way to finish it in time”), Jens Leckman, Connan Mockasin.

The Luke Steele track was “the one that got away”, they say: “we just couldn’t find a way to finish it in time”.


And some more good news: Within the first year of Wildflower being out, the Avalanches are planning to package everything up that they’ve been playing with through this period, and release it.

“And then the slate will be clean to make new music.”

Zane Lowe’s favourite track on the album is called Colours – a collaboration with vocalist Jonathan Donahue of Mercury Rev. The Avalanches worked on the track in Robbie Chater’s house, with his mum hanging out in the lounge room in the background. “I think it’s nice!” she said, which is just a great mum review.

The hardest song to finish on Wildflower, say the Avalanches, was Frankie Sinatra. “That got mixed for about two and a half years,” they say. How many mixes? “Over a hundred.”

They let go some of their favourites, too. “They didn’t contribute to the overall feeling of the record ... Once we had the feeling right we just built upon it, selected tracks that fit it. It was kind of like making a mixtape.”


Zane Lowe says there is a “distinctly Australian-sounding” feeling to the new album which, a reminder, is called Wildflower: “The music that I hear has a very wide-open-sky sound to it. I do hear it, driving down the coast of Australia. Is that a fair observation?”

Avalanches: “I think what you’re saying about the wide open spaces, I’d agree with that. This new record feels a bit like a road trip, and we spent a lot of our teenage years driving around in cars in the country and in suburbia listening to music, and that was in our heads making this record as well. For us this record was supposed to capture that feeling.”


“Have either of you listened to Since I Left You since it was released?” asks Zane:

“It took a long time, but when I eventually did I thought, ‘Okay, I understand why people like it’, because it was from the heart ... We weren’t trying to sound big or huge or make these enormous beats, we were trying to capture a feeling.

“You know how something can be happy and sad at the same time, that beautiful sweet spot ... that’s what we were chasing.”


BREAKING: Journalist and broadcaster Virginia Trioli is not a fan of the new track...

You're kidding, @zanrowe ... We waited 16 years for that? @TheAvalanches

— Virginia Trioli (@LaTrioli) June 2, 2016

The Avalanches discuss the pressure of the live shows, which resulted in them taking a break from the stage:

“The live stuff was quite difficult. Some Avalanches shows, when we were starting out, were just two people DJ-ing; others were like house parties, it was never a concrete thing ... Every thing we’d done was so spontaneous, and so fun, and it was difficult to replicate that night after night.

“It sort of became this strange situation where, without things being smashed or legs being broken [bandmember Darren Seltmann broke his leg twice in 2001], people were going to be disappointed.”


The Avalanches have revealed that they could have picked a whole other 20 songs for the album. “There’s a vault [of unreleased music]. And we never want to listen to that vault again.”

Why has it taken so long?

“I think for us, we just kept making music, which we’d always done and probably always will do. There was so much of it, and so many different projects going on, that at a certain point we realised we had to pull a record together.”

The Avalanches had a bunch of side projects going at once – collaborating with Luke Steele, an animation project, music for a King Kong soundtrack – and used bits and pieces of everything to pull inspiration together for the album.

“It sounds like the most brilliantly fun sixteen years of your life,” says Zane.


The album has 21 songs or “moments” on it, according to Zane Lowe. He’s on Beats 1 Radio, interviewing Tony Di Blasi and Robbie Chater of the Avalanches right now.

On getting Danny Brown (“one of the most compelling voices in rap music,” says Zane) and MF Doom together for Frankie Sinatra: “We wanted to make this record still sound like us but to be a bit more loose and rock and roll. The initial plan was to make a crazy loose rock record, but with samples. Danny’s voice is almost like a punk rock voice sometimes, so we thought it’d be perfect – but we thought, ‘He’d never have heard of us’.”

Luckily for the Avalanches, his manager was a fan, so flew Danny Brown to Melbourne to record on Frankie Sinatra, and a second track as well.

Zane reminds us that Danny Brown was responsible for news of the new album leaking, too.


“You can give a record a title that’s trying too hard to paint a certain picture. We love Beach Boys’ Smile - titles that don’t take away from the music,” they explain, of the album title Wildflower.

“Not to put pressure on you, but it’s game time!” says Zane, who asks how the band are feeling.

“It’s exciting man, it’s been finished for a while,” says one. “It’s very surreal, there were lots of moments where we thought it wasn’t going to happen.” Zane calls the album, Wildflower, a “triumph”, with “incredibly tasteful collaborations”.


The Avalanches interviewed on Beats 1 Radio

And now we switch on over to Beats 1 Radio, to hear Tony Di Blasi and Robbie Chater interviewed by Zane Lowe – their first interview in 16 years. First, a second chance to listen to the track too.

I'm pretty certain that was a Mary Poppins sample so you fucking know The Avalanches are back

— JetGrind (@JetGrindFuture) June 2, 2016

There was some Favourite Things from the Sound of Music thrown in there too...


With the vocals Frankie Sinatra is much more in the El Producto vein than Since I Left You, but the other teased track is very much on the sample-disco vibe. To speculate wildly, it could be the forthcoming album will be a bit heavier on the vocals but with less live instruments than El Producto.

They’ve been teasing part of another new track by putting it out on a hotline. How very 90s-secret-warehouse-party-location of them. It’s much more Since I Left You disco-vibes, apparently called Subways.

Call the hotline to hear new music from The Avalanches:

— FACT (@FACTmag) May 29, 2016

Was that a flute instrumental of ‘Some of My Favourite Things’? I think so. And MF Doom also on the track. That’s some uh, wide variety right there.

DOOM! What?! This isn't the greatest Avalanches song ever, it's THE greatest song ever.

— Jeremy (@halfbent) June 2, 2016


A few immediate reactions from Twitter

Holy jesus! The wait was worth it! New Avalanches is AMAZING @triplej

— nathanbaggeler (@neyfunb) June 2, 2016

This new Avalanches song is very Eminem circa 2000.

— Shopgirl (@kara_nation) June 2, 2016

The verdict is in, @TheAvalanches new rekkid is lit. cc: @NickEvershed

— 1☯kfreemen (@10kfreemen) June 2, 2016

Kicking off with some characteristic old timey samples for the chorus, with Danny Brown coming in over the oom pa synths for the verse. I’m calling it: it’s good.

And we're live

The first single is Frankie Sinatra, featuring Danny Brown. Here we go!

Triple J are now introducing the segment

With a whole bunch of Avalanches’ samples. How appropriate.


The first time I saw the Avalanches play live was in 1999 at Homebake, Sydney, before they’d released Since I Left You. At that time they were doing much more of a live band and rapping thing, smashing out tracks from their (in my humble opinion) underrated first EP, El Producto. This was inside a sweaty, circus-style tent in Sydney’s Domain and the punters were loving it.

There’s obviously a massive Beastie Boys influence in their early stuff, but you could already hear some of the synth and sample work that would become so big on their debut album. Anyone else got any Avalanches gig stories to share?

Hello! We're liveblogging the new Avalanches track Frankie Sinatra

Hello and welcome to a very brief liveblog as the Avalanches debut their first new track since the release of their debut album Since I Left You 16 years ago.

Since they last dropped a record it’s fair to say a few things have changed.

Kids, the last time The Avalanches had an album, Turnbull had yet to join the Liberals and Waleed Aly was two years from a media appearance

— Stephen Murray (@smurray38) June 1, 2016

Only two of the original line-up remain. They’ve hinted about new tracks before, with the rumoured new album attaining an almost-mythical status of definitely-almost-sort-of-not-quite-happening. For some great background on Since I Left You, and why this follow-up record matters, check out Darren Levin’s excellent feature here.

Meanwhile, fans of the Avalanches have grown old.

literally all of the avalanches fans are now comical skeletons with beards who waited too long for the second album

— Nick Evershed (@NickEvershed) June 2, 2016

avalanches fans

— Nick Evershed (@NickEvershed) June 2, 2016


Nick Evershed and Steph Harmon

The GuardianTramp

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