The Avalanches' new track with Jamie XX, Wherever You Go, might be the year's best
The track also features Australian up-and-comer CLYPSO and the legendary Neneh Cherry, and there's a second song too.
If you haven't been keeping an eye on Australian electronic greats The Avalanches over the last few months, you might've missed that they've made a bit of a comeback. 20 years since their brilliantly beautiful Since I Left You record (which infamously, took over a decade to follow-up on), the group aren't wasting time to get back to things after the long-winding journey to their second record Wildflower, returning just four years later with the Blood Orange-assisted We Will Always Love You.
The single was a brilliant return from a group with a near-legendary status, capturing Dev Hynes at his most spectacular as their signature, woozy electronica moved around it. Shortly after, came Running Red Lights - a swirling new favourite that featured Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo and up-and-coming Pink Siifu), and with rumours of another third album incoming shortly, there's bound to be plenty more on the way (they'll be no waiting 16-odd years for this album, thankfully).
Now, with a pair of singles coming out today, The Avalanches may be releasing tracks that'll come atop of the year's end lists. Overnight, they shared two brilliant tracks that deepen their discography and further showcase the versatility of their sound and guest vocalists, enlisting cult-favourites and ones-to-watch alike as they mould sounds together in a way that feels distinctly The Avalanches, with all the class and charm that hasn't left them since their initial emergence two decades ago now.
Reflecting Light - which features Sananda Maitreya and Vashti Bunyan - is a real delight, but the two singles' strong-suit comes with its first, Wherever You Go. It's a masterclass in collaboration drawn out over six-minutes, with the group being aided by the brilliant Jamie xx in the production chair, while the legendary Neneh Cherry emerges for a guest verse towards the single's latter moments, also joined buy Sydney-based multi-instrumentalist in a highlight of her career that's sure to take the rising star to the next level of her exponential-seeming trajectory.
The single begins slow-burning and sample-filled, with The Avalanches' forging a soundscape that aligns perfectly with their discography, while Jamie xx's Midas touch is present and obvious, through fluttering synth work and brooding rhythms that move underneath the masterpiece of his solo record In Colour. CLYPSO's Santigold-reminiscent presence joins in just before the song erupts into a swelling, more club-centric breakdown midway through (which is were CLYPSO's cut-and-screwed vocals really begin to shine), while Neneh Cherry's appearance is short but masterful, coming in as a subtle addition in the single's later moments.
It's the intersection of some incredible artists at their peak, and a sign that even after 20 years, The Avalanches are still capable of switching up their sound and exploring new lanes without veering too far from that signature The Avalanches charm. You can dive into the two tracks below, but with plenty more to come, we're really looking forward to seeing how these fit it into the context of a larger record:
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