THE AVALANCHES Wherever You Go gets 8/10

The Avalanches
Wherever You Go (ft. Jamie xx, Neneh Cherry & CLYPSO)


It was only recently that The Avalanches’ notoriety stemmed from their lack of output rather than their game-changing debut album Since I Left You in 2000. That finally changed in 2016 with the release of the excellent Wildflower. There’s been another little quiet patch in the last few years (well, for most artists), but this year there’s been a welcome stream of singles dropping, with Reflecting Light and Wherever You Go released this week.

Wherever You Go continues their focus on fruitful collaborations with production from Jamie xx and vocals from Neneh Cherry and Sydney newcomer CLYPSO.

The song starts out with a spacey hippy recitation over some sombre synth drones, then warming up with a kids’ chorus (an Avalanches staple) singing “We go, we go, wherever you may go” over and over along with some other vocal samples to build up tension and momentum.

A jaunty Jamie xx bassline drops around the two-minute mark, with Neneh and CLYPSO raving things up with some Jamaican dancehall flavours to get the track swaying and bouncing. A short breakdown follows, a reprise of the introduction, before a return to the riddims and rapping.

As with the other singles released in 2020 thus far, Wherever You Go has an eye to the cosmos, with The Avalanches reaching for spaced-out sounds and samples from the 1960s and 70s that conjure utopian visions of the future. Jamie xx’s contributions make this track the most dancefloor-friendly single of this year’s releases. It will be interesting to see how The Avalanches stitch these singles into the fabric of the new album which is coming out later this year, but based on the singles it promises to be a trip to the heavens.