Where To Start With... Arcade Fire
It has been fully five years since we last heard from Arcade Fire, their last full-length outing coming in the form of 2017’s Everything Now, which featured production from Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter, among others, and sent the Canadian outfit into more ambitious territory.
That’s a trend that continues on their brand new album WE, which lands in stores this week (Friday May 6) and arrives on the back of the recent news that their sixth album will be their last to feature Will Butler, brother of frontman Win Butler, who announced his departure from the band in March this year.
For their new album they’ve also enlisted the help of Radiohead’s long-time producer of choice Nigel Godrich, who co-produced the album alongside the band themselves.
The new album features 10 new tracks including recent release ‘The Lightning (Parts I and II)’, the video for which you can find below.
Beneath that we’ve picked out five of the best tunes form their back catalogue so far to celebrate their return – and as a refresher course for anyone in need of one…
One of our favourite moments from Arcade Fire’s debut LP Funeral, from its thrumming, gradually building verses, through the subtle key shift mid-chorus to its climactic crescendo, this is in instant classic and still one of their finest songs.
‘Keep the Car Running’
Featured on sophomore LP Neon Bible, ‘Keep the Car Running’ still stands up as one of the album’s highlights, its claustrophobic, foreboding lyrics cutting across the song’s driving rhythms and anthemic melodies.
Serving as both the opening salvo and the title track of their 2010 album The Suburbs, this gem channels the jaunty, sing-along melodies of The Kinks while adding a dark, twisting undercurrent via a lyric about haunting regret regret and wasted time.
Another album, another title track, but on both this and their 2013 LP Reflektor as a whole, Arcade Fire turn their attention to the dancefloor with a much more disco-influenced sound that makes for one of their most enjoyable records to date.
Our final pick feels almost like an anomaly among Arcade Fire’s many hits, but it’s still one of our favourites from Everywhere Now and benefits from the input of Thomas Bangalter, conjuring almost-summer vibes and 80s pop with a floating, light-as-air vocal from Régine.