Arcade Fire – The Lightning I, II

After a long five years away Arcade Fire return with a new single and the news we’ve all been waiting for. Their latest studio album We will be released on May 6. After the heady disco vibes on Everything Now what would this new music sound like? I was so excited to find out. Like you, I was there at 6pm UK time waiting for the new single ‘Lightning I, II’ to drop. That’s when we found out about the album too. After some frantic pre-ordering I settled down and hit play on the video you see below.

Directed by friend of the band, Emily Kai Bock, the video expresses the feeling of the last two years: trying to make grand plans only to have the storms of life force you to improvise.

Straight out the gate we find an Arcade Fire sounding nostalgic for the sound that built them. The epic swells of the Neon Bible era underpin this opening section. It just feels so good to hear Win and Regine sing together again. It’s at the halfway point when the track double times your heart just explodes. This is why I love Arcade Fire.

It’s so obvious how much love, care and attention has been poured into this song. When Win sings “A Day, a week, a month, a year, every second brings me here” you absolutely feel his longing because you have felt it too. We all have. The last two years have been hellish. The lack of connection, community, belonging. It’s taken its toll on us all.

This appears to be the theme of We. You only have to look at the song titles.

01 Age of Anxiety I
02 Age of Anxiety II (Rabbit Hole)
03 End of the Empire I-IV
04 The Lightning I, II
05 Unconditional I (Lookout Kid)
06 Unconditional II (Race and Religion)
07 We

The albums seven tracks are split into two halves. The first half ‘I’ deals with matters of the self and our personal anxieties. The second half ‘WE’ is about the power of community and what we can achieve together.

That communal spirit has always been Arcade Fires strength. It’s the backbone of their live shows. It’s so good to see them embrace that again and in such a full throated and loving way.

You can pre-order We now on a number of different formats from Arcade Fires link tree here.

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