Arcade Fire's Everything Now: What You Need To Know
Four years on from the spacey disco-rock of their fourth album Reflektor, Arcade Fire are back this week their fifth. Everything Now arrives in stores today, here's everything you need to know...
A little background...
The first sign that new material was on the way arrived with the live performance of six new songs at an intimate secret show in Montreal in May this year. Shortly afterwards, a Twitter account designed to look like a Russian spambot began tweeting cryptic messages, including images of posters that had begun popping up in Canadian cities featuring the word 'Now'.
On June 1st, the band finally announced the impending arrival of their fifth album, Everything Now, and unveiled the video for the album's title track and lead-off single. A tongue-in-cheek press release was circulated announcing their partnership with a corporate entity known as Everything Now Corp. and Sony (this being the band's first album for Columbia). More announcements followed, one purporting to be from a disgruntled employee of Everything Now Corp. claiming to have taken over the band's social media channels and providing their own hilariously annotated version of the band's second new video for another new song, 'Creature Comfort'.
The band also found time in their pre-release schedule to mock Kendall and Kylie Jenner's horribly misjudged T-shirt range by producing their own versions, with the band's new logo splashed across images of their faces, and with all proceeds going to the charity Partners in Health.
Who's producing it?
The new album has been co-produced by Arcade Fire, their longtime producer Markus Dravs, Daft Punk's Thomas Bangalter, Pulp bassist Steve Mackey and Portishead's Geoff Barrow.
Any special guests?
Nope. Plenty of exciting production talent, but in terms of performance it's just Arcade Fire here.
What does it sound like?
Arcade Fire's previous album, Reflektor, enlisted the help of LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy and marked a bold move into dancefloor territory, inspired by Win Butler and Regine Chassagne's trip to Haiti which had opened them up to the idea of trying to experiment with and expand the band's sound. The result was an album of spacey dance-rock that was well received by fans and critics alike, and if you enjoyed Reflektor you'll be pleased to know that the sense of ambition and expansion is also present on Everything Now.
The Thomas Bangalter-produced title track is a case in point, a stomping rock-disco hybrid loosely based around a sample from Francis Bebe's 'The Coffee Cola Song' that sets the scene for the rest of the album. 'Creature Comforts' continues in a similar vein, with the band channelling New Order over a bed of fizzing synths and a pounding, four-to-the-floor drumbeat. 'Electric Blue' sees Regine take on lead vocal duties on a slightly more downtempo track with a glittering 80s feel, while 'Signs of Life' keeps up the dance-rock vibe and features a video inspired by The X-Files.
Does it deliver?
It's hard to believe this is only the fifth album from a band that feels as though they've been around forever, but as always with Arcade Fire the focus is on quality rather than quantity and there's plenty of that on offer here. Everything Now takes the bold steps already employed on Reflektor and elevates them to new heights. This is the sound of a band really enjoying themselves and this might just be their best album yet.
Everything Now is availble in stores now, you can also find it here in our online store