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After Days Of Buildup, Arcade Fire Shares 'Everything Now' With The World

Following several days of rumors, hints, teases, guerrilla-marketing tactics and social-media shenanigans, Arcade Fire finally has some new material to share. "Everything Now," the first single from a forthcoming album of the same name, first surfaced on a 12" record that popped up for sale at Barcelona's Primavera Sound Festival this week. Today, at long last, the whole world can experience the song's brash, soaring intensity.

Musically, "Everything Now" taps into the chugging, dance-friendly urgency of 2013's Reflektor. But its words — which describe a loud, media-saturated world in which instant gratification seems to make everyone less and less happy — recall the larger themes of Neon Bible. The keyboard hook that opens "Everything Now" could have anchored an ABC song in the late '80s, but an undercurrent of dread, fatigue and frustration seeps into every line: "Every song that I've ever heard is playing at the same time — it's absurd."

Everything Now is Arcade Fire's first studio album since Reflektor, though the intervening years have produced — among other projects — extended tours, a Will Butler solo album, a documentary called The Reflektor Tapes, and an inauguration-themed protest single with Mavis Staples titled "I Give You Power." Everything Now, the band's fifth full-length studio album, will be Arcade Fire's first release for its new label home, Columbia Records.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)