The Avalanches: We Will Always Love You review – multilayered, blissed-out psychedelia

The Melbourne duo meticulously stitch together an array of guests and samples on their rewarding third album

The Avalanches’ Tony Di Blasi, left, and Robbie Chater
The Avalanches’ Tony Di Blasi, left, and Robbie Chater. Photograph: Grant Spanier
The Avalanches’ Tony Di Blasi, left, and Robbie Chater. Photograph: Grant Spanier
Sun 13 Dec 2020 08.00 EST

It took Melbourne’s Avalanches 16 years to follow up the dazzling cut-and-paste alchemy of their debut, Since I Left You. When it did finally arrive, 2016’s Wildflower was more considered, more song-based and featured a slew of big-name collaborators. We Will Always Love You – a mere four years in gestation – feels like a logical progression: it’s another step away from the dancefloor and into the sort of multilayered, blissed-out psychedelia associated with Tame Impala and MGMT, and there is now a staggering array of guest vocalists and musicians, from the one-time Terence Trent D’Arby to Jamie xx; Perry Farrell to Blood Orange.

That so many disparate talents have been corralled into such a cohesive whole is testament to Robbie Chater and Tony Di Blasi’s vision, with samples meticulously stitched together from a mass of voices and an underlying concept of remembering those singers no longer with us. Indeed, perhaps the most poignant moment comes on Dial D for Devotion, as atop atypically minimal piano/static backing Karen O intones an old lyric written by the late David Berman, who guested on Wildflower. Listen out, too, for Gold Sky, where Kurt Vile’s drawling sprechgesang is contrasted with a euphoric gospel backing, and Wayne Coyne adds a fragile coda. There’s much to discover here, making it an immersive and rewarding album to go back to again and again.

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