It seems that while the world suffers under the weight of the global COVID-19 pandemic, The Avalanches are here to brighten up our lives once again.
For well over a month now, Melbourne music pioneers The Avalanches have been teasing the release of new music for their fans. While an Instagram purge soon gave way to cryptic billboards around the world, the outfit then released “We Will Always Love You” just one month ago.
Claiming they had a new record on the way, the group remained relatively quiet about further tunes until this week, when they revealed their new single – “Running Red Lights” – would receive its premiere on triple j on Thursday morning.
True to their word, the group got up nice and early to deliver the track, which features vocals from Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo and Pink Siifu. Described as atmospheric and cinematic, the track was later paired with a Greg Brunkalla-directed video which helps to put the track into context.
In a post shared to Facebook before its premiere, The Avalanches noted that the song “didn’t start out as a defining moment; ‘a single’ as it were. But Rivers responded to our fuzzed out Spacemen 3 inspired jam with such open heartedness, that we soon dropped all pretense and got down to the heart of the matter… loss.”
“We love that wide eyed, elated, almost evangelical Los Angeles sense of possibility that he tapped into,” they continued. “He captures that feeling that comes on the other side of the abyss, when you have lost everything and no then, there is nothing more to lose.
“The way life is so beautiful and overwhelming and heartbreaking all at the some time. Rivers, like us, is always chasing the melancholy, that space… between the notes.”
The loss referred to by the band seems to relate to the passing of David Berman, the frontman of Silver Jews and Purple Mountains, whose lyrics to “Darkness And Cold” are recited by Pink Siifu in the middle of the track.
While Berman sadly passed away last year, The Avalanches had worked with him previously, teaming up on “A Cowboy Overflow of the Heart” in 2012, “Saturday Night Inside Out” in 2016, and having worked on a still-to-be released remix of “All My Happiness is Long”, which has been held back due to licensing issues.
“David had agreed to share his words with us for the middle 8 a few years back,” the group wrote. “It’s a strange feeling releasing this now, 6 months after his passing, but we are so glad he got to hear the music, and it means a lot to us that he really liked it.
“David wrote to me often through some dark, dark years and really pulled me through. “Running Red Lights” is about such times.”
During their interview with Sally & Erica on triple j, Robbie Chater and Tony Di Blasi revealed that while more new music is on the way, they can’t reveal too much at the current time. However, noting that they’re currently clearing samples for their new album, the pair also revealed they’d been sending music to the moon, and recording what it sounds like when it bounces back.
In related news, The Avalanches have taken to the comments of the new track’s YouTube video to reveal that fans will “for sure” hear the B-sides from their 2016 Wildflower at some point, while also alluding to a 20th anniversary celebration of their Since I Left You debut.
It’s unclear when we’ll be hearing more music from The Avalanches, but it sounds as though there’s bound to be plenty for fans to experience as the year goes on.