If I had to choose one of my favorite bands of the last 15 years, Arcade Fire would probably be one of those bands. Okay just kidding. They are one of those bands. So forgive me if this post gets a little wordy or in-depth. Once you pop you just can’t stop sometimes.
Arcade Fire was formed in 2001 in Canada, and they rose to prominence with their 2004 album, Funeral. They have a core group of members who play a variety of instruments including guitar, drums, piano, xylophone, and even glockenspiel (among others). They have created a short film to accompany their album, The Suburbs, and even contributed a song to the Hunger Games soundtrack. Arcade Fire have won plenty of awards for their music and other technical/creative aspects. These include Brits, Grammys, and two members (Will Butler and Owen Pallett) even received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Original Score for Her. Everyone surely has heard of Arcade Fire or at least their most popular song Wake Up. Wake Up was featured in Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are and commercials for the NFL in 2010.
Their music has a very diverse sound as anyone might have noticed by their extensive list of instrumentation. 4 out of 5 albums have been named Best New Album by Pitchfork, so I guess you could say they are pretty good, right? Their debut Funeral evokes a feeling of sadness, death, and the cold nature of maturity. One of my favorite tracks, Crown of Love, is filled with lovesick guilt, and is so emotional. Neon Bible begins to look outward becoming a little more angry and paranoid. There’s an expanded sound and nods to Bruce Springsteen. The Suburbs focuses more on how we live. Everything from fleeting youth and responsibility to the desperation of being an adult. It’s one of my favorite albums to drive to late at night (Trust me). Reflektor, while acclaimed, is actually my least favorite. To me it’s just paranoia set to a disco beat. Then there’s Everything Now, their latest release and most polarizing album to date. It crosses tons of genres including disco and new wave while exploring fear and love. Despite the distraction of their online presence (tweeting KFC, setting up fake news websites, etc), their album went right to number 1 (and allegedly without the help of streaming).
Below you’ll find a mini playlist of my favorite Arcade Fire tracks both new and old. There’s more than usual, but there’s a lot of material to choose from so enjoy!
- Wake Up (Funeral, 2004)
- The Suburbs (The Suburbs, 2010)
- Chemistry (Everything Now, 2017)
- Keep the Car Running (Neon Bible, 2007)
- We Exist (Reflektor, 2013)
- Rebellion (Lies) [Funeral, 2004]
- Everything Now (Everything Now, 2017)
- We Used to Wait (The Suburbs, 2010)
- Crown of Love (Funeral, 2004)
- My Body is a Cage (Neon Bible, 2007)
- Ready to Start (The Suburbs, 2010)
- Electric Blue (Everything Now, 2017)