One of the best bands in the world has emerged from an extended hiatus with a brand new song and with a new double LP scheduled for next month. I’m speaking, of course, of Arcade Fire. The Canadian band has been MIA since wrapping up press for their stellar 3rd album The Suburbs. Now they return with the title track to their 4th album: Reflektor.
This new album is apparently a double album with many songs, including this lead single, clocking in around the 7 minute mark. Band mastermind and frontman Winn Butler says that they are going for a Side A / Side B feel to the album, hence the double disc arrangement.
Now, the single is fantastic. The new album is produced by former LCD Soundsystem genius James Murphy and his influence is all over the new track. Arcade Fire has a history with Murphy and in fact I saw the two bands co-headline a gig a number of years ago. It seemed like a strange pairing at the time, since this was the Neon Bible-era Arcade Fire and they seemed very serious will Murphy is decidedly self-depreciating and jokey. However, the bands played very well together and collaborated a little bit that night too. Now that Murphy has hung up his disco-ball in favor of producing, it seems he has passed on some of that stuff to Butler and company. In fact, the video above prominently features a disco ball.
The other influence you’ll notice on the track is that of David Bowie, another past-collaborator of the band. And actually, it was quickly confirmed that David Bowie himself contributed some backing vocals on the track.
Even with the extra famous cooks in the kitchen, this song is still an Arcade Fire song and gives us a glimpse into the next evolutionary step of the band. They are not a band who is content with keeping the status quo between albums, they are always looking to expand the sound and push their boundaries. And they do this all while managing to keep the heady lyrical core intact. The band always has something to say, something that they feel is important. Here, they are musing about the internet age, how it affects relationships and love. And how one can be taken in by illusion very easily and deceived.
The band also released a cool interactive video that runs on Chrome. Check it out here.
Knowing Arcade Fire, this song will probably make a lot more sense when placed into the context of the full album. And I for one can’t wait to get my hands on it.