Review: Sleepy Bedtime Mix for Young Ones – The Avalanches(?)

By: Dustin VandeHoef

I won’t hesitate a second to call the “Sleepy Bedtime Mix for Young Ones” mixtape the best release from The Avalanches since their 2000 masterpiece “Since I Left You”. To be fair though it isn’t up against much competition since this is the only thing they’ve released since then. And even then they haven’t officially claimed it for themselves, saying only on their twitter that it “may or may not be a mixtape by The ♥∆v∆L∆NCH∑≤♥” But I’m going to review this like it is by them and if it isn’t, well then you’re all welcome to disregard everything I say here like most of you do already. Before I begin however its probably important to explain to those of you who have never listened to The Avalanches that they aren’t a group that play traditional instruments per se, but instead mix thousands of sounds from old vinyls together to form completely new songs.

Sleepy Bedtime Mix for Young Ones” is only available in one hour long chunk so it’ll be hard to comment on singular songs but I’ll do my best to mention stand out moments. After the first few listens it became apparent that the opening songs all seem to bear the same theme of waiting for loved ones to return (/meditating on how sweet life will be when you come back to me/ and /longer than always is a long, long time/) and I hope this lends more credence to the rumor that the follow-up to “Since I Left You” is finally releasing this year.

Overall the mixtape has an atmosphere that is completely different than the exotic party feel that “Since I Left You” wrapped itself in, and yet it still feels undeniably The Avalanches. Everything from vocals to instruments still has an incredibly warm sound to it but instead of focusing on beat fueled dance tracks like its predecessor “Sleepy Bedtime Mix for Young Ones” plays to its name and is a much more laid back affair. Vocals are huge this time, and don’t just loop hooks but actually lead most, if not every track. In fact at points, if it weren’t for the distinct vinyl crackles, it’d be impossible to tell if some of these tracks were tampered with at all!

My only real complaint with the mixtape is that the last 12 minutes (1/5 of the album) are spent on a story that keeps teasing at a great song but never actually delivers. It also doesn’t flow quite as smooth at points with the middle lacking in any big stand-out tracks (like the infectiously upbeat “Kite” song that happens near the beginning). Still though, if you are a fan of the Bioshock and Fallout soundtracks, and especially the tv series Mad Men, you should enjoy this greatly! It captures the sounds of a previous era beautifully.

Overall, I have very few negative things to say about this release. It’s going to be on repeat all summer long while I sit in my yard enjoying the sun and since it’s free, it’s impossible not to recommend! I put the link below – so download, listen, and soak in the luscious return of a long gone friend!

Grade: A-

Download FO FREE here:

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