Are you one of the thousands of people who’ve waited patiently – maybe too patiently – for kings of the sample, The Avalanches, to get a bloody move on and release some new music? If so, you must be commended for your tolerance, as 16 years is quite the wait – and we thought Frank Ocean was taking the piss.
But alas, the wait is nearly over: ‘Wildflower’, the Australian electronic wizards’ long-awaited sophomore album, will finally be released in full on Friday (July 8; it debuted on Apple Music last week). And while there will naturally be differing opinions on the finished product, the fact that the people behind such genuine classics as the luscious ‘Since I Left You’ and the madcap genius of ‘Frontier Psychiatrist’ are back on the scene is surely something that we can all agree is a great thing indeed.
Said greatness soared even higher on Tuesday night with a post on the band’s unofficial Reddit thread (by a first-time poster going by the moniker prettywifi4afly) of a new and most definitely Avalanches-made video. Except that it isn’t really a traditional video – because The Avalanches wouldn’t do anything by the book, would they?
No, the 13-and-a-half-minute-long album trailer of course transfers the now-trio’s penchant for sampling songs from all walks of life to the screen, with the video (entitled ‘The Was’) presenting a mass celebration of mostly American film and television, soundtracked by cuts from ‘Wildflower’. We’re treated to vintage movie shots of the New York City subway and a Beverley Hills mansion, filled to the brim with recognisable characters from possibly every film or TV show you can think of. Why, there’s Saturday Night Fever-era John Travolta travelling on the subway with Jerry Seinfeld, while Will Smith, as the Fresh Prince, dances on the platform! And look! It’s Chevy Chase, dancing with a sandwich at a ‘80s supermarket as Groundhog Day-era Bill Murray reports from outside! 12 minutes into the clip, the sight of John and Yoko walking hand-in-hand away from a burning suburban house starts to seem like the norm, such is the flood of cultural references that invade your screen throughout the duration of the clip.
The collaborative work of the band and NYC-via-Sydney art collective SODA_JERK, ‘The Was’ is a stunning visual that should ramp up excitement even further for ‘Wildflower’ – if you’ve still somehow not managed to hear it, that is. There’s a chance that some copyright obsessive killjoy will enact the powers that be to take down the video very soon, but until that happens, please enjoy the vivacious clip below – and look out at the end for a full list of the ocean of TV and movie references that make this clip so special.