Canadian indie rock band The Arcade Fire has released a pair of throwback singles in preparation for their upcoming EP “WE” due out May 6th. The Lightning I, II return to form for The Arcade Fire in what I think is the band's most inspired effort since 2013’s critically acclaimed Reflektor. The band seems to be following the arc of so many indie rockers of their time. They start with their core albums, then they broke the mold, and then they return to their native soundscape with newfound wisdom.
Acoustic guitar, accordion, violin and piano open "The Lightning I" with a rich full sound. This is a TRUE throw back to band's first album Funeral. Win Butler sings of his trip to the top, what he saw, and his commitment to his wife and bandmate Regine Chassagne.
“Tires are burning in the middle of Rodeo drive
You know that we've been beat down and broken
But now we can testify, ooh
We can make it if you don't quit on me
I won't quit on you”
The second of the two singles, "The Lightning II," takes the same instrumentation and feel of the opener and shoots it out of a cannon. It’s an up-tempo acoustic rock anthem, the kind of tune that The Arcade Fire used to specialize in. It’s the kind of song that helped them headline ACL, Lollapalooza, and arenas across the world. Butler counts the band in with “1, 2, 3, 4” and away they go! The acoustic chaos reminds me of "Keep the Car Running," "Ready to Start," and "Month of May."
I look forward to seeing if one of my favorite early ought’s indie bands can recapture the magic that made me fall in love with them 18 years ago. The Lightning I, II is a great start.