The Avalanches have dropped two new songs, “Wherever You Go” and “Reflecting Light,” from their upcoming as-yet-untitled album. Their third LP will be the follow-up to 2016’s Wildflower, which was their first album in 16 years.
The Jamie xx co-produced “Wherever You Go” features vocals from Neneh Cherry and Clypso and piano from Mick Jones. It also samples The Voyager Golden Record, the 12-inch gold-plated copper disk launched into space in 1977, which houses sounds and images that were chosen “to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth,” per NASA. In the accompanying visualizer, a sleeping dreamer appropriately takes a cosmic trip into the stars.
“Why do we send music to the stars? Is it because we want our voices to live forever?” the band wrote in a statement about the song, which also quotes writer/producer/director Ann Druyan, who served as the Creative Director of NASA’s The Voyager Golden Record project. “How else should we become pure spirits, singing forever in the dark? ‘Our stars are not where we last admired them. Our homes crumble and we don’t know which place to long for’ — Ann Druyan.”
“Reflecting Light” features Sananda Maitreya and samples “Glow Worms” from Vashti Bunyan’s 1970 debut album, Just Another Diamond Day.
“A Vashti Bunyan record from 1970. The church bells across the street from my house, recorded on an iPhone. They once rang like clockwork every Sunday. Now, in lockdown, they are gone,” the band wrote about the song in a statement. “The hiss from a much-loved vinyl record. The static on our television sets: radiation left over from the Big Bang.
“What are these sounds that haunt our lives … floating in the static and the noise all around us, just beyond our grasp?” the band continued. “Are they radio waves or hallucinations? Voices from the past? Beginning with the physical, we become the ephemeral. We are changed. Enmeshed in the universal fabric, we are reflecting light.”
Earlier this year, the Avalanches released “Running Red Lights” featuring Rivers Cuomo and “We Will Always Love You” with Blood Orange.