Arcade Fire are back with a video for their highly anticipated new single, “The Lightning, I, II.” The track comes alongside the announcement of their sixth studio album, WE, out May 6th via Columbia Records.
“The Lightning I, II” is a six minute return. It’s a graceful tune that sees Arcade Fire returning to their core sound. With a bit of a folky sensibility, the track is a sweeping indie rock anthem. The forthcoming album is split into two sides: Side “I,” which is about “the fear and loneliness of isolation” and Side “WE” about “the joy and power of reconnection.” “The Lightning I, II” falls under the latter.
“My grandmother read me a book when I was a little kid that had the word “WE” stamped into its cover in broken 1920s gold leaf,” Win Butler explains. “As my eyes grew heavy, in the bedroom my father slept in as a child, I wondered… What is “WE”? Who are “WE”?”
Watch the video for “The Lightning I, II” below.
“There are questions that can rattle around in your head for a lifetime…but once in a while the centuries grind to a halt,” Butler continues. “And WE are given the precious time to ask again in our child-like inner voice What is ‘WE?'”
Recorded in multiple locations like New Orleans, El Paso, and Mount Desert Island, WE was produced by Nigel Godrich, Win Butler and Régine Chassagne. Arcade Fire say that the album distills “the longest we’ve ever spent writing uninterrupted, probably ever.” The 40 minute collection is an epic, cathartic force.
Check out the tracklist for WE and read Butler’s full statement on the album below.
01 – “Age of Anxiety I”
02 – “Age of Anxiety II (Rabbit Hole)”
03 – “End of the Empire I-IV”
04 – “The Lightning I, II”
05 – “Unconditional I (Lookout Kid)”
06 – “Unconditional II (Race and Religion)”
07 – “We”