As new releases start to wind down for 2020 the latest album by The Avalanches We Will Always Love You has jumped out from the pack putting their hands up for one of the albums of the year. In short, it’s brilliant! So good that they have smashed this one right out of the ball park. This is bold undertaking and only The Avalanches could pull off something this grand taking listeners on an aural journey through time and space exploring the relationship between light, sound and spirit asking some big questions. Who are we really? What happens when we die?
It seems as if the recorded message that precedes Ghost Story “hey, I’m sorry I left so suddenly, I just wanted you to know I’m OK here, it’s hard being so far apart, all this distance, the silence Um, anyway, so, I’m gone, but you know, I’ll still be here, I’ll be with you and I’ll always love you,” has come from the great beyond. From here it is quite amazing how they weave this tapestry. Twenty five songs might seem like a long album by today’s standards but the songs range from seconds to a bit over five minutes. There is no question that the listening experience is a rewarding one and once you’re immersed in it, it is hard to put down. There are so many great moments it is hard to narrow down to a couple.
There are some stand out singles such as Running Red Lights (featuring Rivers Cuomo and Pink Siifu), Take Care In Your Dreaming (featuring Denzel Curry, Tricky and Sampa The Great) and Reflecting Light (featuring Sananda Maitraya and Vashti Bunyan) but there’s so much more to explore and focus on. A couple of my favourite moments are the stunning The Devine Chord (featuring MGMT and Johnny Marr) and Interstellar Love with the legendary Leon Bridges. Wow! Wow! Wow! The album seamlessly has those sonic ebbs and flows but its the energetic highs of Wherever You Go (featuring Jamie XX, Neneh Cherry and CLYPSO) and Music Makes Me High that turbo charge the listening experience.
2021 will be a massive year for The Avalanches because as soon as the green light drops for global touring the world won’t be able to get enough of them. With all the challenges that 2020 has thrown everyone’s way there are plenty of messages to take away from this listening experience and there is definitely something re-affirming in the album title – We Will Always Love You.
Album Review By Rob Lyon