“When we sample the music of musicians who’ve passed, it’s like summoning spirits,” says Robbie Chater. With its overarching theme of “everlasting love as an undying vibration,” We Will Always Love You was inspired by the relationship between Ann Druyan and Carl Sagan: collaborators on the Golden Records, which were included aboard both Voyager spacecraft.
When their love story was shared with Leon Bridges, Interstellar Love – featuring Eye In The Sky-esque melodies – came to fruition.
The Blood Orange-featuring lead single/title track incorporates an effervescent sample from Hammond Song, by female harmony group The Roches, with these lyrics also becoming the album’s title. Opener Ghost Story feat. Orono (Superorganism) is built from a voicemail bemoaning the tyranny of distance. Her spectral phrases (“I’ll always love you/ My voice is still gonna be here”) infuse this set with a wistful sense of longing, returning to haunt Ghost Pt2 before elevating Morse Code-backed closer, Weightless.
The Divine Chord (feat. MGMT & Johnny Marr) is a boppy delight, sprinkled with samples that evoke Sonic The Hedgehog collecting rings. Escalating tease-drops enhance the Brazillian-tinged Wherever You Go (feat. Jamie xx, Neneh Cherry and CLYPSO) – it’s a banger! Dedicated to the late David Berman, Running Red Lights (feat. Pink Siifu and Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo) immortalises lyrics from Darkness And Cold by his Purple Mountains project: “The light of my life is going out tonight/ Without a flicker of regret” – another lyrical motif that’s sprinkled throughout The Avalanches’ third LP.
Like a time capsule recording Earth’s musical evolution, WWALY is essential listening/nourishment for the soul. Play loud enough to attract intergalactic engagement.
We Will Always Love You by The Avalanches is out Dec 11 via EMI.
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