06 10

The Avalanches We Will Always Love You Universal Music Australia


In 1977, Ann Druyan and Carl Sagan worked with NASA to send two vinyl records of sounds from Earth into space, hoping someday that a distant civilisation would find them. We Will Always Love You, the third album from The Avalanches, is their take on the Voyager Golden Record project. It’s a love letter to the cosmos, haunted by ghosts and the mysteries of interstellar space.

Described as an “exploration of the human voice” by the project’s lead Robbie Chater, the album is underpinned by his fascination with the golden oldies of the past 100 years. Across 25 tracks, The Avalanches weave a star-studded cast – including MGMT, Blood Orange, Neneh Cherry and even Perry Farrell –  into a patchwork of samples spanning ethereal vocal harmonies and euphoric gospel. This time though, the party’s winding down instead of up: We Will Always Love You is more meditative and tender than anything The Avalanches have done before.

Between all the interludes of radio crackle and FM static, there are some great songs: the disco throwback of Oh the Sunn! and the festival-ready anthem Wherever You Go in particular. But there are some stinkers too, notably the Rivers Cuomo-featuring Running Red Lights, which is about as good as you’d imagine a track featuring Rivers Cuomo gets. What results is a hit-and-miss album that feels more like a mixtape packing more styles than buttons on a spaceship’s dashboard.