Five years after their farewell bash at Madison Square Garden, LCD Soundsystem have officially marked their return with a brand new album American Dream.
To celebrate the momentous occasion, we’ve put together some essential listening from the Brooklyn-based rock group.
Dance Yrself Clean
This opening track off LCD Soundsystem’s third album This Is Happening is surely one of the band’s most recognizable songs. At nearly nine minutes long, James Murphy told the Sun, “Dance Yrself Clean” is actually composed of two parts, a simple opening composed of drum, synth and voice before transitioning into and a dance-heavy portion at 3:00 minutes. Murphy said he decided against cutting it into two songs “because it’s pretentious.”
All My Friends
Recorded while the band was in Ibiza, Sound of Silver‘s “All My Friends” is a sort of indie-rock raver. At roughly 140 BMP, the song is backed by a one-note piano pattern, impressively played throughout while the song builds more and more layers. It’s a sort of Killers meets New Order track that could easily serve as a montage in a film about friendship.
The lyrics of “Someone Great” are especially poignant when you consider James Murphy wrote them about the death of his therapist. The song opens with “I wish that we could talk about it, but there, that’s the problem” highlighting Murphy’s grief over the loss of a close friend but being able to talk through the issue. Murphy juxtaposes bright synths with dejected rhythms, topping it off his his signature melancholic croon.
Daft Punk Is Playing at My House
The fifth single from LCD Soundsystem was written as a tongue-in-cheek response to Spike Jonze’s and Michel Gondry’s music videos for Daft Punk’s “Da Funk” and “Around the World.”
New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down
As the title suggests, the closing track to 2007’s Sound of Silver is a letter written to his home, New York. Murphy switches between airs out his grievances with the city and expressing his love for it. Eventually he settles his opinion on it as a sort of beautiful mess. “Jesus, where do I start?” he sings. “But you’re still the one pool where I’d happily drown.”
Time to Get Away
LCD Soundsystem demonstrate their ability to expertly write minimalist dance hits with “Time to Get Away.” Some people think that the song was written about an old girlfriend, but Murphy actually wrote it about his old manager, saying he “paid a lot of money to say fuck that guy.”
Us Vs Them
This one was a toss up between “Us Vs Them” and “North American Scum” because this list is getting pretty Sound of Silver heavy, but both tracks are fine examples of LCD’s unique ability to build textured electro-infused indie-rock pop songs.
This personal favourite from This Is Happening isn’t merely about “Drunk Girls,” rather of our cultures fascination of excess of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.
The sixth track from LCD Soundsystem is a Murphy’s way of criticizing mainstream media’s obsession with FM radio, playing the same “five song repeat.”
Sound of Silver
The eponymous track of Sound of Silver repeats the same five lines over and over again, toying with the theme of nostalgia. In the song, Murphy can’t decide whether not it’s worth going back, having youth but also the emotional stress of being at that age.