Arcade Fire are a band that have thus far had a near-perfect career. Innately good song writers with a sound that’s always remained their own, each album has seen them take a different route and truly flourish on each musical path they’ve tread. Needless to say it is therefore always exciting when something new comes out of the blue and teases at what’s to come from their next album. This is true tenfold when the names David Bowie and LCD soundsystem producer James Murphy are also credited on new single ‘Reflektor’.
The first thing to hit you upon first listen is that this is clearly Arcade Fire’s most dance influenced single, perhaps excepting 'Sprawl II'. It operates within the kind of sonic sphere that is perfect for both Bowie and Murphy to put their stamp on: cold, driving minimalistic drums and brilliant square wave synths that wouldn’t sound out of place on TV on the Radio’s ‘dear science’ before erupting into trumpet and guitar lines that should remind Bowie fans of his work on Lou Reeds ‘transformer’ and even his tampering with Krautrock in places. However, its a song that continues to evolve and turn through its mammoth 8 minute playtime, Plenty of changes and timbres catch the listener off guard, but each and every layer added only broadens their bopping grin further.
If tracks like ‘No Cars Go’ and ‘Ready to Start’ set stadiums pounding, this should put them into a more civil but no less enthused eruption. A formidable return, exhibiting a band that has no intention of releasing an easy album any time soon. Reflektor is a band transcending expectation, so download it or go out and by the 12”. Then dance around your bedroom.
Words: Jake Williams