The Avalanches’ New Video ‘Subways’ is a Giddy, Psychedelic Swirl of Images

Frank Ocean’s 4 year gap between his solo debut Channel Orange and its proper follow-up Blonde is a pittance of time compared to the sixteen years that separate The Avalanches’ groundbreaking, still unparalleled debut Since I Left You, a masterwork of somewhere between nine hundred and three thousand samples (depending on what source you read) woven into experimental pop perfection, and its relatively newborn sibling Wildflower. While the new work is, in many ways a revisiting of the template, when you set the bar so high you’re allowed to repeat yourself a bit – especially if you do it this well.

For their new video “Subway,” the Australian collective teamed with French illustrators Mrzyk & Moriceau, for a journey through New York City’s subway system. It’s a ‘60s-style acid trip of sunflowers wielding nunchucks, an acrobatic banana meeting a grisly fate, animated humans cast in surreal settings where living animals double as friends and furniture, and more. The over the top visuals match the shimmering vibe of the track, so that even the slapstick violence elicits a grin and a head nod – the perfect disco inflected end-of-summer tune.

Top photo courtesy Steve Gullick