Today, Astralwerks released The Avalanches’ soaring new single, “Running Red Lights.” Featuring the unmistakable voice of Rivers Cuomo, the track finds the Weezer front man in a single-minded mood, emotional – “I’m a thundercloud, ready to burst like Schrödinger” – and running red lights to reach his lover. Set against The Avalanches’ ghostly dreamscape, Cuomo sounds as though he’s speeding along a cosmic highway, while synths, harps and tambourines swell, sparkle and cascade all around. Enter Pink Siifu, incantating the words of the late, great David Berman (lifted from the Purple Mountains’ tune “Darkness And Cold”) and clairvoyance seems to hang in the ether.
The Avalanches’ Robbie Chater says,
“Running Red Lights” didn’t start out as a defining moment; “a single” as it were. But Rivers responded to our fuzzed-out Spacemen 3 inspired jam with such open heartedness, that we soon dropped all pretense and got down to the heart of the matter… loss.
We love that wide eyed, elated, almost evangelical Los Angeles sense of possibility that he tapped into.
He captures that feeling that comes on the other side of the abyss, when you have lost everything and so then, there is nothing more to lose.
The way life is so beautiful and overwhelming and heartbreaking all at the same time. Rivers, like us, is always chasing the melancholy, that space…between the notes.
David had agreed to share his words with us for the middle 8 a few years back.
It’s a strange feeling releasing this now, 6 months after his passing, but we are so glad he got to hear the music, and it means a lot to us that he really liked it.
David wrote to me often through some dark, dark years and really pulled me through.
…Running Red Lights…is about such times.
Every moment is a gift. So live fearlessly. If you love someone, tell them.
Without connection…where are we?
As Rivers sings in the fade, “We are all we have…”
We have to have faith that that is enough.
The accompanying video was created in loving memory of David Berman, who recorded two earlier songs with the band – “A Cowboy Overflow of the Heart” and “Saturday Night Inside Out.” In the clip, Erik Cavanaugh dances through the streets of Hollywood in his high heels, high on a message of hope from a storefront psychic. Following a shattering revelation, he glimpses Angelyne, the original Hollywood billboard queen, and her trademark pink Corvette, and his fortunes change once again. Cavanaugh, a standout performer from the 2016 season of “America’s Got Talent,” has amassed more than 90 million views of his videos in his mission to show that dance is for nybodyy and nybody. “Running Red Lights” was directed by three-time Emmy nominee Greg Brunkalla (Grouplove, Danny Brown), who also helmed the 2016 video for The Avalanches’ “Because I’m Me.”
Greg Brunkalla says,“This was the 2nd video I did with the Avalanches, but the first time I actually met Robbie and Tony in person. For ‘Running Red Lights’ they asked if I could include a few key elements–like neon, a psychic and have it take place in LA. Oh and they wanted a little heartbreak, a theme that also ran through ‘Because I’m Me.’ I had a great time collaborating with them in LA. When creating music videos, it’s always best to be able to have access to the musicians along the way.”
“Running Red Lights,” which received its first play earlier today on Australian radio station triple j, is from The Avalanches’ forthcoming album. Download / stream “Running Red Lights” feat. Rivers Cuomo & Pink Siifu HERE. View the video HERE.