After the release of “Since I Left You” in 2000, the Avalanches toured and continued to produce music. For over a decade, the group worked on a wide variety of projects, producing new tracks while also collaborating with multiple artists. The album was described in 2005 as “ambient world music”, and by early 2007, the band was considering over 40 tracks for an album which had become mostly hip-hop oriented. The album’s production was stalled due to Chater being ill for three years, and the group had also become more involved in separate projects which pulled them away from the album. Some of their most time-consuming work included the score to a musical, Kink Kong, and an animated musical film described as a “hip hop version of Yellow Submarine” which lost funding and was never completed. “Wildflower” features many remnants from these projects and was compiled using these tracks in a similar fashion to making a mixtape.
Teasing of the album began in April 2016, and it was formally announced in June alongside the release of its first single, an extended mix of “Frankie Sinatra”. Upon release, “Wildflower” received critical acclaim. Critics praised the production. The album was also a commercial success; it was a number-one album in the band’s home country of Australia and a top-ten album in Scotland and the UK. The Avalanches had to leave out many tracks which did not fit with the theme of the album, including some written with guest collaborators. They plan to release these tracks “within a year” of the album’s release in order to provide a fresh start to produce new material.