After sixteen years between their debut and their highly satisfying 2016 sophomore effort, Wildflower, it might be strange that I’m expecting the third entry already. However, the record has been all but announced. In fact, my theory is that, after there have been two singles released, singles that were even accompanied by billboards to promote them, the album was planned to be announced ages ago, but COVID-19 put a stop to that. It wasn’t like the songs were loosies, they shared the same spacey art direction and visuals. I think once everything has blown over and everything is back to normal, that’s when the announcement will be made. For now, all I can do is speculate how the record will sound and be an obnoxious fan detailing my demands, so this is what I want from the next Avalanches album…
1. Album length
Let’s have another fat album. One hour slab of music. This is a pretty uninspired wish, as their previous two records have been pretty much exactly an hour and packed with 18-21 tracks. It’s hard to imagine a 40 minute avalanches record.
2. Less features
Though it doesn’t seem like this is the case as both singles have at least one guest spot, but Dev Hynes’ feature on “I Will Always Love You” is unnecessary and gets in the way of the beautiful instrumental. Let the samples breathe, man. I understand this is the new reincarnated Avalanches where they are overwhelmingly collaborative, but can we try and find a middle ground between no features and two guest spots on every song? Maybe the band are doing it because having guest spots is actually cheaper than sampling Paul McCartney or whoever. It wouldn’t surprise me.
3. More Danny Brown
OK, so complete hypocrisy after what I just said, let’s get Danny Brown on the record. Brown featured on two Wildflower tracks, he and the band clearly have a great working relationship, and the rapper’s goofy delivery and The Avalanches’ insane, otherworldly samples are a match made in heaven. Brown’s baritone delivery would totally suit the current vibe of this new record’s direction.
4. Let’s hear that shit from the vault!
The band have discussed at length how much music they’re sitting on. After 16 years of recording, they must have hard drives upon hard drives of tracks. But what I want to hear are the collaborations the have reportedly recorded, specifically with MGMT and Ariel Pink. And they apparently have more music featuring the amazing late Dave Berman. The new track, “Running Red Lights,” interpolates Berman’s lyrics from last year’s Purple Mountains, but let’s here his voice. One last time.
5. Track lengths
I’d love one huge track, like seven, eight, nine minutes. Do something fucking wild. I know that their songs kind of flow in to each other; “Since I Left You” and “Stay Another Season” could be seen as one long track, and even “Subways” and “Going Home” could just as easily be joined together instead of split in to two tracks, but lets have this huge epic, bizarre, wondrous plunderphonic masterpiece.
6. Something new
This final point sounds obvious, but I feel like I know what to expect from this album, whereas leading up to Wildflower, nobody had a damn clue. I’m not saying I want another Since I Left You. That’s not what I’m asking for. But that doesn’t mean I want another Wildflower either. I want a completely new kind of beast, but it seems like this album is going to be just as song/feature based as Wildflower just with a spacier aesthetic, as opposed to the mixtape flow of Since I Left You.