The Avalanches

Wildflower

Image of The Avalanches - Wildflower

About this item

In a collage of fuzz guitars, tuning radios, pitched up soul samples, pitched down exotica records, and a whole lot of background chatter, The Avalanches return after an unprecedented 16 year wait. Created by the band’s core duo - Robbie Chater and Tony Di Blasi – "Wildflower" is nothing less than The Beach Boys’ "Smile" reimagined in the Daisy Age - a mind-bending cartoon road movie that’s best viewed with closed eyes and an open mind. Unmistakeably the work of Australia's sample kings, "Wildflower" is a Technicolor kaleidoscope of everything great and groovy about music, blessed with the warm and dreamlike aesthetic we first fell in love with on the sublime "Since I Left You". A throwback to those halcyon days when artists made albums, as opposed to a couple of radio singles and eight tracks of filler, The Avalanches sophomore LP drifts from one track to the next, taking us on a tripped out tour of downtown Melbourne in the summer time.

Lead single "Frankie Sinatra" divided the critics on its initial release, making a marmite statement with its oddball calypso samples, oompah brass and unhinged lyrics from Danny Brown and MF DOOM. Here, nestled comfortably between the gorgeous summertime soul of "Because I'm Me" and the sampledelic disco of "Subways", the track makes perfect nonsense. The inner city synth pop of "If I Was A Folkstar" strolls through the sunshine like a laid back relative of Cut Copy's "Bright Like Neon Love", while the spectral "Colours", featuring some heavily treated vocals from Mercury Rev's Jonathan Donahue, is as dreamy and doped up as pop music gets. Elsewhere Ariel Pink, Father John Misty, Warren Ellis (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds)  and Toro Y Moi’s Chaz Bundick make cameos, as does Biz Markie on the light-hearted, full stomached old school hip hop of "Noisy Eater". The dusty sixties soul of "Harmony" leaps out the grooves in the middle of a succession of dreamy sketches (in a day-glo Dilla style) before the triple threat of "The Wozard Of Iz", "Over The Turnstyles" and "Sunshine" form the apex of an outstanding LP. "Kaleidoscopic Lovers" and "Stepkids" serve up a pair of pastoral love songs before the driving haze-gaze of "Saturday Night Inside Out" leads us off into the sunset with the widest smile of our lives. Against all odds and expectations, The Avalanches have done the impossible, following up an instant classic with a second album which is even better than the first. If we have to wait another sixteen years for the next one, at least we'll be waiting in the company of two flawless records. 

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: In the words of hapless Sky Sports pundit Chris Kamara - 'unbelievable Jeff'. Somehow, The Avalanches pulled off the unprecedented achievement of following up a classic debut album with something even better! The fact that it took them sixteen years surely only makes it more remarkable. As it leads us from the crowded streets of the big city to the pastoral calm of the countryside, 'Wildflower' emerges as a dreamy collage of all the warmest bits of pop music, with the day-glo silliness of ‘Since I Left You’ still alive and well. Where their debut was defined by an unprecedented quantity of samples, ‘Wildflower’ sees Robbie Chater and Tony Diblasi enlist a close knit group of collaborators and vocalists to lend their sampledelic symphony a greater sense of togetherness and community, revealing the heart and soul beneath the psychedelic haze. It’s a wonderful thing, in the truest sense of the word.

Andy says: You might be thinking: Hey, this isn't Dad Rock! And you'd be right. But you'd also be wrong, as this reminds me of a dazzling trip in the sixties LA sunshine, with all those groovy psychedelic pop songs drifting through the air, where peace, love and melody were king, and people still believed in the power of music to TRANSFORM!

TRACK LISTING

01. The Leaves Were Falling
02. Because I’m Me
03. Frankie Sinatra
04. Subways
05. Going Home
06. If I Was A Folkstar
07. Colours
08. Zap!
09. The Noisy Eater
10. Wildflower
11. Harmony
12. Live A Lifetime Love
13. Park Music
14. Livin’ Underwater (Is Somethin’ Wild)
15. The Wozard Of Iz
16. Over The Turnstiles
17. Sunshine
18. Light Up
19. Kaleidoscopic Lovers
20. Stepkids
21. Saturday Night Inside Out
22. Frankie Sinatra (Extended Mix)

Back to top