Jump to content

We Will Always Love You

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

We Will Always Love You
Studio album by
Released11 December 2020
StudioSing Sing (Melbourne, Victoria)[1]
ProducerRobbie Chater
The Avalanches chronology
We Will Always Love You
Singles from We Will Always Love You
  1. "We Will Always Love You"
    Released: 20 February 2020
  2. "Running Red Lights"
    Released: 18 March 2020
  3. "Wherever You Go / Reflecting Light"
    Released: 22 July 2020
  4. "Music Makes Me High / Take Care in Your Dreaming"
    Released: 14 September 2020
  5. "Interstellar Love"
    Released: 30 October 2020[7]
  6. "The Divine Chord"
    Released: 11 December 2020[8]
  7. "We Go On"
    Released: 18 March 2021[9]

We Will Always Love You is the third studio album from Australian electronic group The Avalanches, released on 11 December 2020 through Modular Recordings.


The Avalanches (Robbie Chater and Tony Di Blasi) released their second studio album, Wildflower, in 2016. As the album came 16 years after their debut Since I Left You, the group felt they now had a clean slate to work on new material.[10] While on tour for Wildflower in early 2017, Chater left the tour to battle his alcoholism at a detox facility. Di Blasi continued the tour with a full backing band.[11] After the tour completed, they began work on a new album.[10] Before production began, Chater sold most of his collection of 7,000 records to nurture a fresh start.[12]


We Will Always Love You is built on sampling,[11][13] but it is less of a plunderphonics record than the band's previous material.[10] Chater explained that making sample-based music is time-consuming. According to Chater, Since I Left You had 900 samples, and We Will Always Love You "still contains hundreds and hundreds of samples [...] fragmented across the record".[10] The group set out to use samples as the basis of songs, but add instrumentation themselves to more easily and quickly build out the sound they were looking to achieve.[13] The Avalanches brought in musician and friend Andrew Szekeres to help push production along in this manner.[13] They also brought in guest vocalists because doing so took less time than searching for samples for months, although Chater still compared finding the right vocalist to searching for a sample.[11][14]

One of the first songs recorded for the album was "Reflecting Light", which samples "Glow Worms" from the 1970 English folk record Just Another Diamond Day by Vashti Bunyan.[12] The title track "We Will Always Love You" features vocals from Blood Orange and samples from "Hammond Song" by the Roches and "I'll Take You Any Way That You Come" by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.[15] "Running Red Lights" is dedicated to David Berman and features lyrics from the Purple Mountains song "Darkness and Cold". It features vocalists Pink Siifu and Rivers Cuomo.[16] "Music Makes Me High" is a stylistic throwback to older house music, like that found on the label Crydamoure or on Basement Jaxx's debut album Remedy (1999). The lead sample from Salty Miller reminded Chater of "Red Alert".[17] "Take Care in Your Dreaming" features vocalists Denzel Curry, Sampa the Great, and Tricky. Curry's verse was recorded in 2019 with the others recording in 2020.[17]

The album features many collaborators: Sananda Maitreya, Vashti Bunyan, Blood Orange, Rivers Cuomo, Pink Siifu, Denzel Curry, Tricky, Sampa the Great, Leon Bridges, Johnny Marr, MGMT, Clypso, Neneh Cherry, Jamie xx, Kelly Moran, Cornelius, Karen O, Kurt Vile, Mick Jones, Cola Boyy, Perry Farrell, Wayne Coyne, and Orono.

Concept and artwork[edit]

The album's concept is rooted in "death, the afterlife, the stars, celestial beings and everything that's out there" in the context of their tendency to sample music from artists who have died.[1] Chater explains:

"When we're sampling very, very old recorded music, the singer may have long passed so it's almost like summoning spirits [...] If we sample a record from the 40s, someone else has owned that record for maybe 50 years and played it a million times, and so they've added to the crackles on the vinyl. Then that record has come into my life and we've sampled it and made a song out of it. [...] It's just a beautiful flow of energy, that we're only a small part of - and so the album was reflecting on all those sorts of processes."[12]

The cover art features an image of Ann Druyan, creative director of the Voyager Golden Record project. The image, modified from the photo taken by Bettina Cirone around 1980, was run through a spectrograph, turned into sound, then processed back into an image.[18][19] The group wanted to work with her after hearing that the sound of her heartbeat captured for the Golden Record was recorded the day after Carl Sagan proposed to her. They booked studio time to record her voice for the album, but she canceled the recording. She still gave them permission to use her image on the cover.[10]

The album was almost titled Pink Champagne with cover art of a pink galaxy, but they thought it sounded too much like Drake.[10]

Release and promotion[edit]

On 11 February 2020, the Avalanches posted a photo of a promotional billboard in Melbourne advertising a website.[20] On the website, a video played containing several faint voices, followed by a Morse code message stating 'WWALY'. On 14 February, the website was updated with a second video containing another morse code message, this time spelling "20 FEB".[21] Two days later on 16 February, the Avalanches posted a photo of a second billboard in London.[22]

The first two singles released were "We Will Always Love You" on 20 February and "Running Red Lights" on 18 March 2020.[16] The group originally only planned to release those two singles, and then the album in May, but because the COVID-19 pandemic delayed CD and vinyl pressings, management delayed the release.[14][23] The vinyl plants in the United States shut down, leaving the group to use a plant in eastern Europe which could not deliver the record until December.[13] The album was not officially announced until 9 September 2020.[24] On 22 July, the group released the double A-sided single "Wherever You Go"[25][26] /"Reflecting Light".[27][28] Accompanying these singles were music video visualizers directed by Jonathan Zawada.[29][30] Another double-A sided single "Music Makes Me High" / "Take Care in Your Dreaming", was released on 14 September. The fifth single was "Interstellar Love" released on 30 October. A live performance of the song was recorded for The Sound and aired on 15 November 2020.[31] On 11 December 2020, the band released "The Divine Chord" with Johnny Marr and MGMT, alongside its music video.[8]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
The Guardian[5]
The Independent[34]
The Irish Times[35]
Rolling Stone[4]
The Telegraph[6]

We Will Always Love You received widespread acclaim from music critics. It carries a rating of "universal acclaim" on Metacritic with an average rating of 86/100 and was included in their list of 2020's best albums. The ABC hailed the album as a "genuine masterpiece",[39] and Clash said that it was "arguably the best of The Avalanches' trio of releases thus far".[40] Several reviews remarked favourably on the quality of the sampling on the album and its mature sound and themes. Mark Beaumont in The Independent noted that the group had "tempered their youthful party vibe to contemplate themes of the afterlife and cosmic profundity",[34] while Julien A. Luebbers in The Spokesman-Review similarly remarked on the album's thematic sophistication, calling the album "a soaring testimony to spirituality and being part of something greater than ourselves" and "a piece of true artistic brilliance".[41] On the other hand, PopMatters gave the sole review of the album marked "mixed" by Metacritic, criticising both the multiple guest appearances on the album and the "polemical" nature of its themes.[42]

At the 2021 ARIA Music Awards, the album was nominated for Album of the Year, Best Group and Best Pop Release while Robbie Chater was nominated for Producer of the Year, Tony Espie was nominated for Engineer of the Year and Jonathan Zawada was nominated for Best Cover Art for work on this album.[43] In March 2021 it was awarded the Australian Music Prize 2020.[44] At the J Awards of 2021, the album was nominated for Australian Album of the Year.[45] At the 2021 Music Victoria Awards, the album was nominated for Best Victorian Album.[46]

Track listing[edit]

We Will Always Love You track listing
1."Ghost Story" (featuring Orono)1:23
2."Song for Barbara Payton"
  • Chater
  • Di Blasi
  • Szekeres
3."We Will Always Love You" (featuring Blood Orange)2:52
4."The Divine Chord" (featuring MGMT and Johnny Marr)3:07
5."Solitary Ceremonies"
  • Chater
  • Di Blasi
  • Szekeres
6."Interstellar Love" (featuring Leon Bridges)
7."Ghost Story Pt. 2" (featuring Orono and Leon Bridges)
  • Chater
  • Di Blasi
  • Szekeres
  • Noguchi
  • Bridges
8."Reflecting Light" (featuring Sananda Maitreya and Vashti Bunyan)
9."Carrier Waves"
  • Chater
  • Di Blasi
  • Szekeres
10."Oh the Sunn!" (featuring Perry Farrell)
11."We Go On" (featuring Cola Boyy and Mick Jones)
  • Chater
  • Di Blasi
  • Szekeres
  • Gary Geld
  • Peter Udell
  • Matthew Urango
12."Star Song.IMG"
  • Chater
  • Di Blasi
  • Szekeres
13."Until Daylight Comes" (featuring Tricky)
14."Wherever You Go" (featuring Jamie xx, Neneh Cherry and Clypso)
15."Music Makes Me High"
  • Chater
  • Di Blasi
  • Szekeres
  • Nelson B. Miller
  • Stu Gardner
  • Billi Rucker
16."Pink Champagne"
  • Chater
  • Di Blasi
  • Szekeres
17."Take Care in Your Dreaming" (featuring Denzel Curry, Tricky and Sampa the Great)
  • Chater
  • Di Blasi
  • Szekeres
19."Gold Sky" (featuring Kurt Vile)
20."Always Black" (featuring Pink Siifu)
  • Chater
  • Di Blasi
  • Szekeres
  • Matthews
21."Dial D for Devotion" (featuring Karen O)0:31
22."Running Red Lights" (featuring Rivers Cuomo and Pink Siifu)
23."Born to Lose"
24."Music Is the Light" (featuring Cornelius and Kelly Moran)3:08
Total length:71:29



  • The Avalanches – instruments (1–11, 13–25)
    • Robbie Chater – production, mixing
    • Tony Di Blasi – additional production (1–11, 13–15, 17–20, 22, 23, 25), mix supervision
  • Andy Szekeres – additional production (1–11, 13–15, 17–20, 22, 23, 25), instruments (1–11, 13–25)
  • iZNiiK – additional production (17)
  • Devonté Hynes – vocals (3)
  • The Australian Boys Choir – additional vocals (3)
  • John Carroll Kirby – piano (3, 8, 17, 20), Moog (4, 8, 17), DX7 (4, 8), treated piano (24)
  • Kelly Moran – prepared piano (3, 24), piano (24)
  • MGMT – vocals (4), additional vocals (5)
  • Johnny Marr – guitar (4)
  • The Yarra Voices Choir – additional vocals (4, 11)
  • Leon Bridges – vocals (6, 7)
  • Orono – vocals (7, 25)
  • Sananda Maitreya – vocals (8)
  • Perry Farrell – vocals (10)
  • Etty Farrell – additional vocals (10)
  • Tom RowlandsEMS and Roland System 700 synthesisers (10)
  • Mick Jones – vocals (11), piano (14)
  • Cola Boyy - vocals (11)
  • Tricky – vocals (13, 17)
  • Marta – vocals (13)
  • Neneh Cherry – vocals (14)
  • Clypso – vocals (14)
  • Cameron McVey – additional vocals (14)
  • East Coast Inspirational Singers – vocals (15)
  • Pink Siifu – vocals (16, 20, 22)
  • Denzel Curry – vocals (17)
  • Sampa the Great – vocals (17)
  • Kurt Vile – guitars (19), vocals (19)
  • Wayne Coyne – additional vocals (19)
  • Farmer Dave Scher – keyboards (19), lap steel (19), melodica (19)
  • Karen O – vocals (21)
  • Rivers Cuomo – vocals (22)
  • Mike Callander – additional modular tweaks (22), granular synths (22), tape delays (22), noise (22)
  • Cornelius – vocals (24)
  • Tony Espie – mix supervision
  • Clint Welander – mix engineering (1–11, 13–24)
  • Zachary Zajdel – assistant engineering (1–11, 13–24)
  • Nate Haessly – assistant engineering (3, 4, 6, 20, 24)
  • Joe LaPorta – mastering
  • Christian Scallan – recording (choir on 3, 4, 10, 23; EME transmissions on 7–9), Arecibo message 2020 sonification (25)
  • Jarvis Taveniere – recording (Kurt Vile and Farmer Dave Scher on 19)
  • Jonathan Zawada – Barbara Payton sonification (12)
  • Franck Marchis – Arecibo message 2020 sonification (25)


Chart performance for We Will Always Love You
Chart (2020–2021) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[47] 4
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[48] 138
French Albums (SNEP)[49] 175
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[50] 100
Irish Albums (IRMA)[51] 58
UK Albums (OCC)[52] 39
US Billboard 200[53] 148


  1. ^ a b Catchpole, Chris (June 2020). "The Avalanches Embark on a Cosmic Trip". Q. pp. 22–23.
  2. ^ Dzubay, Laura (12 December 2020). "The Avalanches Transport the Listener on We Will Always Love You: Review". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  3. ^ a b "The Avalanches - We Will Always Love You". DIY. 10 December 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Browne, David (10 December 2020). "The Avalanches' Add New Depth to Their Sampledelic Pop on 'We Will Always Love You'". Rolling Stone.
  5. ^ a b Mongredien, Phil (13 December 2020). "The Avalanches: We Will Always Love You review – multilayered, blissed-out psychedelia". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  6. ^ a b c McCormick, Neil (10 December 2020). "The Avalanches, We Will Always Love You, review: giddy psychedelic dance from the Australian duo". The Telegraph.
  7. ^ "The Avalanches Recruit Leon Bridges for New Song "Interstellar Love"". Rolling Stone. 29 October 2020. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  8. ^ a b "Watch The Avalanches' new video for "The Divine Chord" with Johnny Marr and MGMT". NME. 11 December 2020. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  9. ^ "Watch the Avalanches' New "We Go On" Video". Pitchfork. 18 March 2021. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Cahill, Mikey (25 November 2020). "On The Cover – The Avalanches: 'Now we're just a regular band instead of the band who made an amazing debut'". NME.
  11. ^ a b c Zoladz, Lindsay (3 December 2020). "How the Avalanches Put Themselves Back Together Again". The New York Times.
  12. ^ a b c Savage, Mark (9 December 2020). "Why The Avalanches ditched their record collection". BBC News. Retrieved 9 December 2020.
  13. ^ a b c d Jenke, Tyler (10 December 2020). "Mortality, Existentialism, and Left Turns: The Avalanches on 'We Will Always Love You'". Rolling Stone Australia.
  14. ^ a b Fleischer, Norman (7 December 2020). "Ending 2020 On A High Note | How The Avalanches Keep The Spark Of Hope Alive". NBHAP.
  15. ^ Tan, Emily (20 February 2020). "The Avalanches Return with "We Will Always Love You"". Spin. Retrieved 9 December 2020.
  16. ^ a b "The Avalanches Share New Song With Weezer's Rivers Cuomo and Pink Siifu". Pitchfork. 18 March 2020. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  17. ^ a b Trendell, Andrew (14 September 2020). "The Avalanches tell us about their two new bangers and "cosmic" new album 'We Will Always Love You'". NME. Retrieved 8 December 2020.
  18. ^ Bloom, Madison (9 September 2020). "The Avalanches announce new album We Will Always Love You". Pitchfork. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  19. ^ Langford, Jackson (9 September 2020). "The Avalanches announce new album 'We Will Always Love You'". NME. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  20. ^ "Instagram post by The Avalanches • Feb 11, 2020 at 7:00am UTC". Archived from the original on 24 December 2021. Retrieved 21 February 2020 – via Instagram.
  21. ^ "WWALY - Morse Teaser 2 from Made in Katana on Vimeo". player.vimeo.com. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  22. ^ @TheAvalanches (16 February 2020). "pic.twitter.com/tYrSXz4GuD" (Tweet). Retrieved 19 November 2020 – via Twitter.
  23. ^ Cashmere, Paul (6 December 2020). The Avalanches interview Tony Di Blasi talks to Paul Cashmere at Noise11.com (video).
  24. ^ "The Avalanches on Instagram: "We're very happy to share with you the cover for our new album, "We Will Always Love You". Designed by our dear friend Jonathan Zawada"". Instagram. Archived from the original on 24 December 2021. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  25. ^ "The Avalanches head to space in cosmic new video for "Wherever You Go": Watch". Consequence of Sound. 19 August 2020.
  26. ^ Bloom, Madison (19 August 2020). "The Avalanches and the International Space Orchestra Share New Video for 'Wherever You Go'". Pitchfork.
  27. ^ Legaspi, Althea (22 July 2020). "The Avalanches Preview LP With Two New Songs 'Wherever You Go,' 'Reflecting Light'". Rolling Stone.
  28. ^ "Listen to two new songs by The Avalanches, featuring Jamie xx and Neneh Cherry". NME. 22 July 2020.
  29. ^ "The full @JonathanZawada directed visual of 'Wherever Yo Go' [...] is now live". Twitter. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  30. ^ "'Wherever You Go' & 'Reflecting Light' will be released together, with artwork and visuals by the amazing @JonathanZawada". Twitter. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  31. ^ Triscari, Caleb (10 November 2020). "The Avalanches and Leon Bridges to perform for 'The Sound' this weekend". NME Australia. Retrieved 11 November 2020.
  32. ^ "Reviews for We Will Always Love You by The Avalanches". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 29 July 2016. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  33. ^ Kellman, Andy (10 December 2020). "The Avalanches - We Will Always Love You". AllMusic.
  34. ^ a b Beaumont, Mark (9 December 2020). "The Avalanches' album We Will Always Love You is a journey into the great sonic beyond – review". The Independent.
  35. ^ Bruton, Louise (11 December 2020). "The Avalanches: We Will Always Love You – Obscure, dominant and transient". The Irish Times.
  36. ^ Price, Andy (9 December 2020). "The Avalanches – 'We Will Always Love You' review: back in the saddle". NME.
  37. ^ Martin, Clare (9 December 2020). "The Avalanches Craft an Affectionate Cross-Section of Humanity on We Will Always Love You". Paste.
  38. ^ Sherburne, Philip (14 December 2020). "The Avalanches: We Will Always Love You Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  39. ^ Condon, Dan (14 December 2020). "The Avalanches – We Will Always Love You". ABC Double J. Archived from the original on 13 December 2020. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  40. ^ Rivers, Joe (14 December 2020). "The Avalanches - We Will Always Love You". Clash Music. Archived from the original on 18 February 2021. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  41. ^ Luebbers, Julien A. (10 December 2020). "Review: The Avalanches' 'We Will Always Love You' is a piece of true artistic brilliance". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  42. ^ "The Avalanches say 'We Will Always Love You'". PopMatters. 14 December 2020. Archived from the original on 9 January 2021. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  43. ^ Kelly, Vivienne (20 October 2021). "ARIA Awards nominees revealed: Amy Shark & Genesis Owusu lead the charge". The Music Network. Archived from the original on 20 October 2021. Retrieved 24 October 2021.
  44. ^ Brandle, Lars (3 March 2021). "The Avalanches Win Australian Music Prize With We Will Always Love You". Billboard. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  45. ^ Kelly, Vivienne (1 November 2021). "Triple j reveals J Awards nominees". The Music Network. Retrieved 1 November 2021.
  46. ^ "Music Victoria Awards Reveals Line-up And Nominees for 2021". Noise11. 11 November 2021. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  47. ^ "Australiancharts.com – The Avalanches – We Will Always Love You". Hung Medien. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  48. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Avalanches – We Will Always Love You" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  49. ^ "Lescharts.com – The Avalanches – We Will Always Love You". Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  50. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – The Avalanches – We Will Always Love You" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  51. ^ "Irish-charts.com – Discography The Avalanches". Hung Medien. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  52. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  53. ^ @billboardcharts (21 December 2020). "Debuts on this week's #Billboard200" (Tweet). Retrieved 22 December 2020 – via Twitter.