December 25, 2006

2007 Previews: The Arcade Fire

Eclectic Montreal outfit The Arcade Fire are poised to release their next studio effort, "Neon Bible," in March via Merge. The set will be the follow-up to their 2004 debut LP "Funeral," which featured "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)" and "Rebellion (Lies)." The band, which is self-producing the new disc, recorded the songs in a converted church in their Montreal hometown. In terms of the composition and feel for the new material, NME reports:

Frontman Win Butler added: "We talked about a lot of ideas for orchestration and Regine Butler and him are trading off midi files trying to get three songs arranged for late August...Regine and I are going to sneak away somewhere closer to the ocean for a we can record some vocals...a lot of the songs remind me of being near the ocean at night time."

Commenting on reports that the band used new instruments on the record, Butler wrote: "The pipe organ was amazing...never heard anything quite like it, we also recorded a horn section in the church with microphone 200 feet away with the craziest reverb I have ever heard.
Meanwhile, Monsters and Critics reports on how you can hear the track, "Intervention" from Neon Bible:
The Arcade Fire has unveiled "Intervention," the first track from its hotly anticipated new album, 'Neon Bible,' via a pre-recorded telephone message accessible by calling 866-636-6242, extension 7777...
If a prerecorded telephone message is not your ideal way of sampling The Arcade Fire's new album, you're in luck. The Hype Machine has the track available for listening to on the web by following this link. The aforementioned pipe organ starts us off here by eliciting a Sunday morning church service, which reflects the lyrical imagery Win Butler belts during the chorus: "working for the church while your family dies, little baby sister gonna lose her mind, every spark of friendship and love will die without a hope." The dark, despairing resignation of the opening gives way to somber acoustic tones and pleading instrumentation as Butler gushes on about groaning soldiers and the death of love. The forlorn drama of the tune is only cut deeper by the band's trademark ability to let their music bleed profusely into the heart of the listener.

You can listen to a more stripped down version of, "Intervention," by checking out the video of their performance of the song on KCRW (via YouTube). Even more, you can catch the band on the road beginning next month in London. Billboard reports:
The Arcade Fire will play a Feb. 13-17 stand at Judson Memorial Church near New York's Washington Square in advance of the March release of its next Merge album, "Neon Bible." Tickets go on sale Jan. 5 and are limited to two per person.

The shows will follow previously announced five-night stands at unconventional venues in London and the band's Montreal homebase, beginning in late January.
On-sale and additional information is available at The Arcade Fire's official site. As for the single and the album (via the Billboard article):
frontman Win Butler said the track will soon be available for legal download. Proceeds will benefit Partners in Health, which aims to provide free health care to patients in Haiti.

As for "Neon Bible," he said, "We have probably worked harder in the last three months then in the rest of our lives combined, but we are all really proud of the results."
As with Bloc Party, this is easily on my list as one of the top 10 anticipated albums of 2007. Much more on that subject as time goes on. For now enjoy the Arcade Fire and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours.

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