The excruciating wait for new Avalanches material is over. The Australian electronica outfit has dropped “Frankie Sinatra,” their first fresh recording in 16 years. And there’s a promise of more to come.
The enigmatic act’s new track had its global premiere at 12am ET on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show, and debuted Down Under on the Triple J network (the state-funded broadcaster rotated its earlier works throughout Thursday in celebration of “Avalanches Day”).
“Frankie Sinatra” takes the Avalanches into hip-hop territory with guest slots from rapper Danny Brown and MF Doom and there’s a blend of retro samples, including a surprise grab from the Sound of Music’s “My Favorite Things.”
Just minutes after the premiere, the reclusive band posted a message which confirmed the existence of a new album, Wildflower, and offered an apology for the long wait. Guests on the 21-track LP include Father John Misty, Toro y Moi, Jonathan Donahue of Mercury Rev, Jennifer Herrema of Royal Trux, Camp Lo, Biz Markie, and Warren Ellis of Dirty Three. Wildflower, created by the band’s core duo of Robbie Chater and Tony Di Blasi, is scheduled for release July 8.
It’s been an age since 2000 debut Since I Left You announced the Avalanches as one of the coolest acts on the planet. The cut-and-paste masterwork peaked at No. 8 in the U.K., No. 10 on Billboard’s Top Dance/Electronic Albums and hit all the right notes with critics, many of whom declared the set the best released by an Australian artist in the noughties (it was the only Aussie album to make the NME’s Top 100 Greatest Albums of the Decade list, coming in at No. 45). The group toured in various guises (live and DJ sets) and with various lineups until the mid-2000s.
There’ve been infrequent hints at a sophomore album, though nothing eventuated. A song did arrive in 2013, a remix of Hunters & Collectors’ “Talking to a Stranger” (it was titled “Stalking to a Stranger”).
Rumor of a return became a reality when the Avalanches announced a string of mid-year live dates and teased a new album with a doco-style trailer, entitled Since They Left Us. Another song, an uplifting number believed to be called “Subways”, has been teased in Australia through posters and a hotline number.
“Frankie Sinatra” arrives ahead of the Avalanches’ first comeback show, June 3 at Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona, Spain. Dates are also scheduled for June 12 at Field Day in London and there’s a July 22 homecoming date at Splendour in the Grass in Byron Bay.
The clip for “Frankie Sinatra,” shot by Fleur & Manu in New Orleans, is below.
“Wildflower” – Track Listing
1. The Leaves Were Falling
2. Because I’m Me
3. Frankie Sinatra
5. Going Home
6. If I Was A Folkstar
9. Noisy Eater
12. Live A Lifetime Love
13. Park Music
14. Livin’ Underwater (Is Somethin’ Wild)
15. The Wozard Of Iz
16. Over The Turnstiles
18. Light Up
19. Kaleidoscopic Lovers
21. Saturday Night Inside Out