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An Attempt To Catalog The Guests And Samples On The Avalanches’ ‘We Will Always Love You’

On December 15, 2020

The legendary sample kings the Avalanches are back with their third LP, We Will Always Love You. Like their last LP, 2016’s Wildflower, We Will Always Love You is heavy on guest features and samples from songs you may or may not know. Here, we attempt to catalog all the guests and samples; we might miss some here, but part of the fun of Avalanches records is trying to figure out where you might have missed something before. So, happy hunting for stuff we missed!

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“Ghost Story” ft. Orono

Superorganism’s Orono Noguchi is the first voice on the album, but it’s not in its floating form found on her own albums; she leaves a voicemail for an old lover, starting the album off in a melancholic direction.

“We Will Always Love You” ft. Blood Orange (and sampling Smokey Robinson and the Miracles)

Dev Hynes from Blood Orange kicks off the first proper song on the album, delivering both lilting singing, and a spoken word interlude. The song features a semi-prominent Smokey Robinson and the Miracles sample as well; “I’ll Take You Any Way That You Come” is the building block for the rest of the title track.

“The Divine Chord” ft. MGMT and Johnny Marr (and sampling the Shirelles)

MGMT’s Andrew VanWyngarden sings this positively buoyant track, which features some work from the Smiths’ Johnny Marr as well. The Shirelles’ “It’s Love That Really Counts” gives the song its background chorus and dreamy background.

“Interstellar Love” ft. Leon Bridges (and sampling the Alan Parsons Project)

This is one of the wildest combos of collaborator and sample on the entire album, as neo soul singer Leon Bridges — who appears multiple times here — sings over a sample from prog rock group the Alan Parsons Project.

“Ghost Story Pt. 2” ft. Leon Bridges and Orono

Another spare track with Orono’s voicemail getting a reprise.

“Reflecting Light” ft. Sananda Maitreya and Vashti Bunyan

The former Terence Trent D’Arby sings with his weathered, layered soul voice alongside a prominent Vashti Bunyan sample, and what sounds like a handful of new vocal lines from her as well.

“Oh The Sunn!” ft. Perry Farrell

The Jane’s Addiction frontman and Lollapalooza mastermind delivers some platitudes over this bubbly funk jam in the middle of the album.

“We Go On” ft. Cola Boyy and Mick Jones

Oxnard singer and musician Cola Boyy is joined by Mick Jones on the playground chant “We Go On,” a song that will sound absolutely perfect when the weather is warmer.

“Until Daylight Comes” ft. Tricky (and sampling Total Contrast)

The U.K. legend Tricky does some spoken word over a hazy sample from ’80s pop group Total Contrast.

“Wherever You Go” ft. Jamie xx, Neneh Cherry and CLYPSO (and sampling Carlinhos Brown)

Jamie xx connects with the ’Lanches and electro pop artist CLYPSO and post-punk legend Neneh Cherry for this song, maybe the most anthemic on the whole record. It also samples Brazilian legend Carlinhos Brown.

“Music Makes Me High” (Samples Two Songs)

Salty Miller’s song of the same name becomes the skeleton for “Music Makes Me High,” which also features a sample of the Devoted Souls’ “Keep On Holdin’ On.”

“Take Care In Your Dreaming” ft. Denzel Curry, Tricky, and Sampa The Great

Tricky returns for his second appearance, working a trios performance with Denzel Curry and incredible up-and-coming rapper/singer Sampa the Great.

“Gold Sky” ft. Kurt Vile (and Sampling Pat Metheny Group)

The jazz band Pat Metheny Group’s “Last Train Home” becomes the background for Kurt Vile (yes, Kurt Vile!) to deliver some spoken word as the song ascends and ascends around him.

“Always Black” ft. Pink Siifu

Up-and-coming artist Pink Siifu makes maybe his most high-profile appearance yet rapping over the twinkling “Always Black.”

“Dial D For Devotion” ft. Karen O. (and quoting David Berman)

Karen O. shows up for her own spoken word section here, quoting David Berman’s album as Purple Mountains. RIP Berman.

“Running Red Lights” ft. Pink Siifu and Rivers Cuomo

Pink Siifu makes a return appearance here, trading the mic with Weezer don Rivers Cuomo, who sings wistfully over the doo-wop-inflected track.

“Born to Lose” (Sampling Leon Bridges and Steve Reich)

Leon Bridges returns here again, but in the form of a sample of his “Bad Bad News.” The real nuttiness comes in the sample of “Electric Counterpoint: 1. Fast,” a song written by Steve Reich. In what other context do those two share a song but an Avalanches album?

“Music Is The Light” ft. Kelly Moran and Cornelius (and sampling Sharon Lewis)

Cornelius and Kelly Moran help the ’Lanches compose on this song that feels like a float through space, which also samples a semi-obscure song of the same name from Sharon Lewis.

“Weightless” (sampling The SETI)

Perhaps the most fun sample on the entire album comes last, as the Avalanches use dispatches from the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence as a sparse, electro closer.


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