Albums of the year – July 2016
Pushing musical boundaries and rattling political cages is terrific. But sometimes, all you need is a collection of feel-good tunes to soundtrack the summer.
In July, Australian DJ group The Avalanches were able to oblige.
That said; they certainly took their sweet time about it. Wildflower is the long awaited follow-up to 2000’s Since I Left You, a mixtape of a debut that helped establish their slice-n-dice style by (reportedly) containing over 3,500 samples.
So… was getting consent this time around the reason behind Wildflower’s delay? Partly. Having originally cleared samples years ago, bouts of illness and individual ventures on film scores meant the project was put on hold. By the time The Avalanches were ready to start work again, they had to renegotiate. That was no small task, especially when the ‘must remember to get permission’ list included The Beatles, Jerry Lewis and The Sound of Music.
Although Wildflower felt like a quieter record compared to their debut, it still thrived on positive energy. The trio of opening tunes – Because of Me, Frankie Sinatra, Subways – set the scene with their carefree vibe. Sunshine could have belonged on a Chilled Ibiza compilation, whereas The Noisy Eater and The Wozard of Iz were as quirky as their titles.
Even on the more laidback tracks, it sounded like everyone was thoroughly enjoying themselves. Colours and Kaledoscopic Lovers swooped along dreamily and, despite being recorded sixteen years ago, the poetic Saturday Night Inside Out was a perfect closer.
What’s next for The Avalanches remains to be seen. But they deserve a trilogy. Let’s hope it doesn’t take them another 16 years for the next instalment.
Michael Kiwanuka: Love & Hate
Roisin Murphy: Take Her Up To Monto