In the summer of 2008, I saw Arcade Fire play at two separate European festivals and pushed my way to the front each time to inevitably sob like a child during "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)". I say all of this because my sweet god, has it been weird to be a fan and watch the band stumble their way through the rollout for their most recent album, Everything Now.
Never mind that the record itself contains a song on which Win Butler … talk-sings each day of the week in succession (it is not rapping, OK? Win Butler is adamant that this is not rapping). A fair amount of the music on Everything Now largely sees the band storm ahead on their mission to make "fun" and "dancey" songs rather than ones with emotional chugga-chugga guitars and vocal lines shouted just off-mic that you too can scream along to. But beyond that, the campaign revolved around a wink-nudge at capitalism and corporations, seeing the band use fake news, attempted satirical merch, a fictional company called the Everything Now Corporation and a minor beef with music site Stereogum as promotional ammunition.
Anyway, forget all that. On Thursday, Arcade Fire released a statement apologising for the whole thing. "When our band began working with the Everything Now Corp, we were assigned Tannis Wright as a social media coordinator," the band's note began. "In recent weeks, it has come to light that Tannis crossed the line from marketing into outright fiction on more than one occasion, and has even offended some readers, fans and websites." There was more, on how the band are apparently taking back control of their social media accounts now and a plug for their tour. Etc.
Whether the band are dragging on this campaign joke past album release, or genuinely looking to change their ways doesn't really matter now, though. Most of those who care have heard the album, and decided if it has enough saving graces to warrant repeat listens. Many fans have thought, cool, I'll just go back to pre-'Reflektor' Arcade Fire for the time-being. I for one know that I'll just be averting my eyes until this is over. At least Funeral still shows as flagrant a disregard for getting me in my feelings as it ever did.
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