Creature Comfort, Make It Painless!

I’m absolutely loving the newest Arcade Fire single, ‘Creature Comfort’. Admittedly, when I first heard a clip of it from their set at Primavera Sound via Youtube, I wasn’t too keen on it. I then listened to it a few times; before hearing it live myself at Scunthorpe and The Isle of Wight festival, which was then when I really started to like it.

When they released the song along with the video, I instantly fell in love. I’m very much into great lyrics when I listen to music. I cannot enjoy a song if the lyrics are poor and clichéd, or if I can’t relate to them (although I do enjoy concept albums). I think one of the reasons why I love Arcade Fire is that their lyrics are absolutely incredible. I reckon that Win Butler is one of the best songwriters of our generation, especially when paired with his wife Régine Chassagne. Their albums have covered a wide array of subjects; from Funeral’s sombre tone, to the politically charged Neon Bible, which was followed by a take on suburban life on The Suburbs, and then lastly Reflektor which focused on the negative repercussions of technology.

Creature Comfort has some very dark lyrics, probably the darkest Arcade Fire have ever done. It sounds a very cheerful song initially; especially if you’ve heard the more louder, grittier live version, thus making it hard to hear the lyrics. It’s weird because whilst it contains some very depressing themes, it’s hard not to dance too. I’ve seen a few people say that they prefer the live vocals better, but I can’t say that I agree with this. I love Win’s voice here, it is almost spoken word in some sense, which gets the point across very effectively. The words focus on subjects such as suicide, eating disorders, and self harm, which is new territory for Arcade Fire. I love the fact that the synth heavy song sounds cheerful, but it is actually the opposite. I think that’s why I didn’t enjoy it at first, as I didn’t realise how good the lyrics were live as I do tend to enjoy deep and meaningful  songs.

My favourite part of the song is the second verse, when Win beautifully sings “Assisted suicide, she dreams about dying all the time. She told me she came so close, filled up the bathtub and put on our first record.” Funeral reference there. MY HEART ❤

I reckon next time I see them Creature Comfort will already be a fan favourite. I reckon it’ll be a staple is the bands set for years to come, especially with that thumping bass, along with the likes of Power Out. I can just picture the crowd singing the chorus back to Win and Reginé. The “Creature Comfort, make it painless” part is going to be epic, too.

I previously said this on my review of Everything Now, but their new material really does sound like what Reflektor should’ve been. I really wanted them to return to their old sound;  but I don’t think that Arcade Fire are a band that would ever go backwards, only forwards, and watching them evolve over time truly is fascinating. I do miss their music from their first 3 albums, but I can always revisit them anytime. Plus I love this direction that the band are heading in, it’s definitely a new and fresh sound.

Now, let’s talk about the video; I have watched it numerous times, and I always find something that I hadn’t noticed previously as there’s so much going on. I think that Richard Reed Parry is the star of the show here, I was cracking up at his dancing. I love that the lyrics are scrolling across the top of the screen, so you can really understand what the song is about; plus I think that this really shows that the band are really wanting to hear the words, perhaps it is a personal song for them? I think that this is one of the best songs Arcade Fire has done in years, and I cannot wait to hear the rest of Everything Now.

I SAW ARCADE FIRE!!

I’m writing this on my phone, thousands of feet in the air,  travelling to America, so apologies if this isn’t perfect. 4 hours left… 

I was meaning to write this blog sooner, but I have been so fucking tired and busy. So… I FINALLY SAW ARCADE FIRE FIRE xD I am just going to put this out there right now, that this band are the best band on the planet right now, and are one of the best of all time in my opinion.

I’ve watched countless live performances by them on YouTube, which my boyfriend and I agreed that this could possibly leave us disappointed, as we really had high expectations due to the quality of the videos we had watched. If anyone has read my previous blog then basically I got tickets to go see them at Isle of Wight festival originally, as we thought it would be the only time we would get to see them this year. Oh how naive we was! They ended up announcing a show in Manchester in July, and then a warm-up show to last weeks IOW festival. The warm-up show was at Scunthorpe, which is absolutely crazy. They played at Scunthorpe Baths, which is only a 1400 venue capacity. Arcade Fire can fill arenas, and have pretty much headlined every major festival I can think of, so obviously as massive fans, my other half and I was ecstatic to of been one of the few who actually got tickets.

Fast forward a few weeks from when we booked tickets, we arrived at Scunthorpe at around 6.00PM on Wednesday the 7th of June. We had a pint of beer in a lovely little pub across the road called The Royal. I would’ve gone back there after the gig for a drink if I wasn’t travelling to the Isle of Wight the next morning, so if the unlikely event of them returning, I’d definitely give that a go.

So we went a little after doors open, but I think the band were still soundchecking as they were 30 mins late letting us into the main room. Whilst we waited I went to the merch stand, and bought a really cool t-shirt that has the new Arcade Fire logo on. There wasn’t much to choose from, but once the album is released then I’m sure that they will have some more designs. I really want them to make them Everything Now jackets they’ve been wearing available to the fans.

For the smaller shows, the band have adapted to a 360° stage setup. I personally really liked this concept, but I had a lot of anxiety prior to the gig due to the fear of having Win and Regine facing with their backs to us. I made a plan, and that was to head towards Win Butler’s microphone (pretty obvious which one was his with him being 6’5). The security were ushering everyone towards the left, but I scoped out Win’s mic and went opposite to the crowd which meant I was at barrier, right infront of Win. Now, if anyone knows me, then you’ll know that I absolutely adore Win Butler. I love the rest of the band obviously, but for me Win is one of my idols, and I was starstruck when he was literally infront of my face.

I can’t remember every single song off the top of my head that was on the setlist, but it was sure as hell full of bangers. I recall Everything Now being the opening song, which was awesome as since it came out not so long ago, I’ve been playing it non-stop. I was very happy to see Tunnels returning, as I noticed that it had disappeared from their setlist for a few shows. I thought that Rebellion was just as awesome as I expected, and the crowd kept singing the “ohh, ohh, ohh, ohh, ohh” part for like a solid 5 minutes afterwards. They also did an unplugged version of Wake Up, which was stunning.

I would say that the highlight of my night was definitely Reflektor. Obviously due to my blog name, you’d expect it to be a highlight, but the real reason is so much more cooler….

THIS HAPPENED. 

Yes, that is yours truly with Win! As you can imagine, I was pretty fucking happy after this. Basically, Win was recording the song on an old school camcorder, and whilst he walked past I shouted for him to have a selfie with me. He let me get 3 or 4 photos, which I thought was really nice. Anyway, overall it was the best live performance that I have ever seen. I never in a million years thought that I would get to the front, never mind getting a selfie with Win Butler.

The next morning was difficult, we was so tired from the previous nights antics. Luckily we only had a couple of pints, so felt good in that sense, but I literally danced my ass off all night, so we just felt like we needed a days recovery to be honest.  We set off for the Isle of Wight festival early Thursday morning, a long five hour drive, and an hour’s ride on the ferry. We stayed in a lovely little hotel called The Wight, and Friday we had a brilliant day checking the island out. We visited the Needles and an Amazon rainforest themed zoo. They had Sloths! Who doesn’t love Sloths. Definitely my spirit animal. 😉     

On Saturday we went on a wild goosechase for some Wellington boots, as we didn’t plan very well and me and the boyfriend are complete festival n00bs. We didn’t even need them in the end which was kinda bittersweet due to the fact that they’re highly unfashionable, but at least we didn’t have any rain… 

So we only got a 1 day ticket as the rest of the line up didn’t appeal to us and was very poor if I’m honest. We stumbled upon  an excellent act that consisted of 2 lads and their acoustic guitars. They don’t sing or use any more instruments. They slap their guitars inbetween strumming them for the beat. They played loads of old skool dance floorfillers, and finished on a really epic cover of Bohemian Rapsody. They had the crowd going crazy, and we saw the tent literally go from empty to full within a few songs. They’re insanely talented people, if you want to check them out then their name is The Showhawk Duo. 

Catfish and The Bottlemen put in an amazing set too. I’ve liked them since they released their debut, and their last album ‘7’ is so good! I’d definitely go watch then headline their own show. 

Aaaand next up were Arcade Fire. I must say that I was just as excited as I was at Scunthorpe. I also had around 8 pints at the moment, so that elevated my giddiness a lot, lol. Anyway, somehow managed to get right near the front again, not quite barrier but to say that we wasn’t even trying to get close this time it was certainly a massive achievement. 😛

It was awesome to see them in a completely different setting. I’d say I prefer intimate venues, but the stage set up and lighting were amazing and on a much larger scale. I think Creature Comfort sounded so epic live, and I can tell it’s going to be a fan favourite for many years to come. I also heard some songs I hadn’t heard the last time, such as The Suburbs, which is one of my favourites. I’d say my favourite song of the night was Sprawl II. I just think Regine absolutely smashed it, she’s so cute!

I actually cannot wait to see them in Manchester in a couple of weeks. I know it sounds excessive, but their music means so much to me for various reasons. BEST. BAND. EVER! 

* I am now sat around the pool in Las Vegas. Life is gooooood.

Arcade Fire – Everything Now Review

Anyone who reads my blog will know that I am a mahooooosive Arcade Fire fan, so when their new song ‘Everything Now’ got released yesterday on June the 1st, I was absolutely thrilled to say that I think it’s amazing.

Admittedly I was extremely anxious about this single, as I didn’t like the direction that the band were heading towards. I hated their last release (I Give You Power), and whilst I do understand that it was a protest song released on the eve of Trump’s inauguration, I just wasn’t feeling it…

I liked Reflektor too, hence the blog name. The title track is amazing, and whilst there is some absolute tunes on there, I found some of it really hard to get into. I just think it missed some of that Arcade Fire magic that the first 3 albums entailed.

So fast forward over 4 months, the long wait is finally over! The way that they teased the upcoming release was rather genius, yet a little weird (that sums up AF though). Basically a clip of the new song surfaced online via a failing Russian social network; then said clip were tweeted to many big names through a Twitter account. They basically pretended to be a Russian spam bot. Amazing!

Because the song title is ‘Everything Now,’ they very cleverly previewed the track on Radio One, whilst simultaneously revealing the album name, release date and cover art online! They also announced North American tour dates, just before playing a surprise warm-up show at the Spanish festival Primavera Sound. Phew! Busy day. I guess everything really is now!

So the song begins with an opener that almost sounds RNB. I’m a bit confused to why this isn’t included on the iTunes/Spotify version, whilst it was on the radio and the music video. I really like it, and I wish that I could have the full version on my phone. My guess that this is the album opener, as Everything Now is number 2 on the album trackless.

From the off the song is just one euphoric rush for me; I absolutely love the piano melody as the song starts, it’s just so damn catchy! Win’s voice sounds on top of its game as well. This song is written with the sole purpose to be a hit, and I reckon that even people that aren’t fans of Arcade Fire will find it hard to resist tapping their feet to this. To me this is everything that Reflektor could’ve been, but wasn’t.  Whilst it’s a completely different sound to the likes of Funeral, Neon Bible and The Suburbs, it still feels like Arcade fire. Reflektor was too much of a departure from the gorgeous music from The Suburbs, but this just feels like a very natural progression to me. I think the fact that they have included instruments such as the piano and the pan flute has given it that Arcade Fire magic that I missed during the Reflektor days.  I could honestly imagine this being on The Suburbs to be honest, maybe a bit more of a stripped down version, but the lyrics are definitely something that you’d expect to hear from that album.

The lyrics are basically reminding us that we live in an age where everything literally is now. We can listen to music at anytime, anywhere. We can watch tv shows that took 10 years to make in 2 days due to services such as Netflix. It’s kinda crazy when you look at it in that perspective, and I’m very excited to hear the rest of the song lyrics from the album because Arcade Fire are the best at portraying the reality of the present.

The chorus is just as catchy as the rest of the song, and this is when things start getting random. Just when Win Butler begins to sing the chorus the pan flute kicks in! I love this, I have never heard anything like this in music in all my 24 years on earth. I have read that this was played by a man called Patrick Babey, who is a son of a famous Cameroonian artist named Francis Bebey. The pan flute is a part of a song called The ‘Coffee Cola Song. I checked it out and it was just as catchy as Everything Now. Love it!

After the pan flute, then prepare yourself for a bit of cheesy disco that every ABBA fan would love. If you knew Arcade Fire back in the day then you’d of laughed if I told you they were turning disco. Luckily they pull it off very well in this song, which is probably helped by the fact that they’ve got Thomas Bangalter from Daft Punk on board to produce the album.

At about 4 minutes and 21 seconds in, you’ll hear a crowd chanting Na Na Na Na Na Na’s from the top of their lungs, which is proof that this songs is destined to be amazing live. The crowd chanting was recorded at the Voodoo festival in New Orleans last Halloween, which is a very nice touch.

The song doesn’t lose any momentum until the end, and I can honestly say that I could not ask for them to bring out a better song. The video is also crazily good as well! I particularly love it as I was in Death Valley a few months ago and have some great memories of driving through the place, so to see them film it there is so awesome. I’m loving the jumpsuits they’re wearing, and the whole aesthetics of everything so far to be honest. I love the EN logo, and the album art is gorgeous. Kinda reminded me of The 1975’s latest album art with the neon lights.

I cannot wait to dance my ass off on Wednesday when I see them for the first time, and I’m sure by then I’ll of learned the lyrics down to a T, considering that I can’t stop playing it! It’s a 10/10 from me. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album. Arcade Fire, I love you!