hmv’s Albums of 2014: The Avalanches
A little background…
As album gestation periods go, the wait for the second album by The Avalanches is up there with the longest on record. In recent years, only Chinese Democracy by Guns ‘n’ Roses and My Bloody Valentine’s mbv have taken longer to surface, and fans could be forgiven for giving up on the idea of a new record after a wait of 14 years. Rumours have been circulating about a follow-up to their critically acclaimed 2000 debut, Since I Left You, since as far back as 2005, and in 2007 the band released a statement saying that 40 new tracks were being considered for the new album, but just as fans started to get their hopes up, it went quiet again. Then, late in 2011, things started to happen.
In December that year the band posted lyrics to a new song entitled ‘The Stepkids’ on their Twitter account. By March 2012, Jennifer Herrema and Danny Brown had both publicly commented that they had been working with the band on new music. By August, Ariel Pink had been added to the list of collaborators, and fans really began to hope when a clip of new music was released for the first time in more than a decade, albeit in the form of a strange narration by David Berman named ‘A Cowboy Overflow of the Heart’. By the middle of last year, reports were circulating that the album was finally expected to surface in 2014, with a single due to be released last September, but it never materialised.
What’s it called?
Although there has been confirmation of a couple of the track names, there’s no official word on the album title yet. There was however a rumour that the new record had tentatively been given the title On a Saturday or Friday Night Fever, but still nothing confirmed from the band or the label.
What will it sound like?
Good question. According to various statements released over the last few years it won’t be a huge departure from the sound on Since I Left You, in fact according to the band it sounds ‘exactly the same’ as their debut, with another statement from the group in 2013 stating that the new material is “so fucking party, you will die, much more hip-hop than you might expect, and while there is still no estimated time of arrival, were sure you’re gonna love it”.
Who’s producing it? Are there any big-name guests?
Since The Avalanches are known to self-produce it’s likely they’re doing it all themselves. Aside form the collaborators already mentioned, no others have been confirmed, but then this is The Avalanches and information is scarce at the best of times.
Will it really come out this year? And when?
Well, this is a band that has considerable previous form with false dawns and rumours that come to nothing, so we’re not exactly holding our breath. Having said that, it does look more likely now than it has at any point over the last decade. Given that statements have been released to the effect that the new record has been sequenced, even mixed, one reason for the delay could be sample clearance: Since I Left You featured more than 3,500 samples, so if there’s anything like that amount again it could take some time before we finally see a new record.