• Muzik First


In Arcade Fire's last release, they unveiled 2018’s "Everything Now" with a satirical ad campaign that confounded some fans (and perhaps that was the point). A subtler approach precluded the arrival of "The Lightning I, II," the first release from their sixth album, "WE," which is due May 6. For their first official single in almost five years, fans were sent cutesy postcards containing sheet notes to the song’s effervescent riff. They debuted the single at a low-key, exclusive small show in New Orleans on Monday evening (March 14). Even the title looked tantalizing – the band’s highest peaks have often been the creations that come in pairs ("Sprawl I, II" from 2010’s "The Suburbs") or sequenced (Neighbourhood #1, #2, #3, #4 from 2004 debut "Funeral"). Few acts could write a two-track release as ambitious as this – ‘The Lightning I, II’ is epic in its scope and objectives. The Lightning I, II’ will undoubtedly hit a chord with long-time band fans. It seems profoundly heartfelt and slightly frightening, humongous in its sound but familiar and intimate to those who’ve followed them for nearly two decades. It feels like we’ve been here before, but never quite this far into Arcade Fire’s modus operandi. Meanwhile, the album design — a photograph by the artist JR with airbrush colouring by Terry Pastor (David Bowie’s "Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust") — is meant to channel the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy, Sagittarius A.