Days after sharing the artwork of their forthcoming third album, Melbourne music icons The Avalanches have officially announced the upcoming release of their new record, We Will Always Love You.
Set for release on December 11th, the promotional campaign for the new record began at the start of 2020, indicating that things might have arrived earlier had a global pandemic interfered. After purging their social media, putting up billboards, and beginning to share new music, The Avalanches returned with their first new song since 2016 by way of the title track.
This was soon followed by the likes of “Running Red Lights”, “Reflecting Light”, and “Wherever You Go” in recent months, with the artwork to the group’s new record being revealed last week.
The cover features Ann Druyan, Creative Director of the Voyager Golden Record Project, and in a statement, The Avalanches’ Robbie Chater explained that the love affair between Druyan and Sagan – “science communicators” whose writings and TV programs brought the ever-deepening mysteries of astronomy and astrophysics to the mass audience. – served as the singular ‘spark’ for the new album.
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We're very happy to share with you the cover for our new album, "We Will Always Love You". Designed by our dear friend Jonathan Zawada, the sleeve features Ann Druyan, (Creative Director of the Voyager Golden Record Project) , who’s cosmic love story inspired this music. In keeping with the album's theme of everlasting love as an undying vibration, Ann's image was run through a spectograph, turned into sound, and back again. The image remains hidden, deep within in the grooves of the music, for you to discover if you wish. An exploration of the vibrational relationship between light, sound and spirit, "We Will Always Love You" will be available for pre-order next week, with more details to follow soon. Interstellar Love, The Avalanches . Design by @zawhatthe
Druyan had been initially set to serve as a presence on the new record, with a studio even booked to record her own story, though the event never transpired. Druyan “gave us permission to use her photo on the album cover,” Chater explains.
“We photographed it off a static-y television set and ran it through a spectograph to make the cover image. So that was a beautiful way that Ann could still be part of the record. We turned her into sound and back again.”
While sampling remains at the core of the band’s sound and their new record, We Will Always Love You sees the group delivering their most introspective and song-oriented album to date, with the likes of Blood Orange, Rivers Cuomo, Pink Siifu, Jamie xx, CLYPSO, Neneh Cherry, Sananda Maitreya, and Vashti Bunyan serving as just some of the many collaborators who worked alongside the band on their new record.
“For us, to make the same record again, no matter how well executed, wouldn’t have been satisfying,” Chater explained. “We were looking to do something that would open up possibilities for the future. Take a bit of a left turn that frees us up to do whatever we want to next.”
To accompany the announcement of the new record, The Avalanches have also shared another pair of new songs, including “Music Makes Me High”, and “Take Care In Your Dreaming”, which not only features hip-hop great Tricky, but reunites Denzel Curry and Sampa the Great.
While more details around the record – including its tracklisting and further collaborations – are yet to be revealed, pre-orders for the group’s first album since 2016 are available now.
Ultimately, while excitement is high for their newest album, one question does remain for fans, and it’s mainly around why We Will Always Love You took only four years to arrive, compared to the 16 years it took Wildflower to emerge.
Though the group note the record is dedicated to probing “the vibrational relationship between light, sound and spirit”, Robbie explains that the new album was different to its precursor in that it came together “like a single thought, that was followed through in one process, quite quickly.”
“It took only a couple of years from start to finish. The conceptual heart of things is really important to me,” he continues. “I can’t just be blindly creative, I need to find a feeling and a deeply personal place that gives me the energy to start making a record and a story to share.
“Wildflower changed so much over fifteen, sixteen years, whereas with this album, we knew what it was about right at the beginning, and then we did it, and it’s done.”
The Avalanches’ “Music Makes Me High” and “Take Care in Your Dreaming” are available to stream now, while We Will Always Love You will be released on December 11th, with pre-orders available now.