Skip to main content

Home Music Music News

Arcade Fire announce new album ‘WE’, share first single ‘The Lightning I, II’

It's the band's first album since 2017's 'Everything Now'

By Charlotte Krol

Win Butler of Arcade Fire in the music video for 'The Lightning I, II'
Win Butler of Arcade Fire in the music video for 'The Lightning I, II'. (Picture: YouTube/Arcade Fire)

Arcade Fire have shared details of their new album ‘WE’ alongside first single ‘The Lightning I, II’.

The Canadian band’s sixth album is released on May 6. Longtime Radiohead collaborator Nigel Godrich has produced the record with bandmembers Win Butler and Régine Chassagne.

‘WE’ is described in press material as a “concise 40 minute epic” of seven songs that is “as much about the forces that threaten to pull us away from the people we love, as it is inspired by the urgent need to overcome them”.

The album’s “cathartic journey follows a definable arc from darkness into light over the course of seven songs divided into two distinct sides – Side ‘I’ channeling the fear and loneliness of isolation and Side ‘WE’ expressing the joy and power of reconnection”.

Listen to Arcade Fire‘s epic lead single ‘The Lightning I, II’ below.

‘WE’ is the first album released by the band since 2017’s ‘Everything Now’.

See the ‘WE’ tracklist below:

01. ‘I’
02. ‘Age Of Anxiety I’
03. ‘Age Of Anxiety II (Rabbit Hole)’‘WE’
04. ‘End Of The Empire I-IV’
05. ‘The Lightning I, II’
06. ‘Unconditional I (Lookout Kid)’
07. ‘Unconditional II (Race and Religion)’
08. ‘WE’

Frontman Win Butler shared a note with news of the album. “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. As my eyes grew heavy, in the bedroom my father slept in as a child, I wondered… What is ‘WE’? Who are ‘WE’?

“There are questions that can rattle around in your head for a lifetime… / but once in a while the centuries grind to a halt / and WE are given the precious time / to ask again in our child-like inner voice / What is ‘WE?’”

Butler’s note continued: “Hiding in the shadow of Carl Jung / is the WE that holds each other back / and tears each other down / the WE that whispers secrets / and complains about paradise/ even heaven is too cold…

“But also it is the ‘ONE’ of Marley, the Buddha and Abraham / it’s the lightening strike / of our magic mutual creation / it’s the root / WE share / made of the same dust as the stars / WE pray to.

“It’s the dream of Martin Luther King Jr. / and the iron of the nail on the church door of his namesake / it’s the innocence and the mistake / the universal flaw and the perfect imperfection / The hipsters called it jazz / The hippies called it love / And we call it WE.”

Earlier this week live footage of another new Arcade Fire surfaced on YouTube. The song in question was performed at the group’s last-minute fundraising gig for Ukraine in New Orleans on Monday (March 14) where they also performed two other new songs.

Snippets from recordings posted to social media reveal that the band played ‘Lightning I, II’ as well as the unreleased ‘Age Of Anxiety’.

The latter song uses musical components from ‘Memories Of The Age Of Anxiety’, a 45-minute instrumental ambient track that Arcade Fire released for a meditation app last year. ‘Age Of Anxiety II (Rabbit Hole)’, the second part of the song, was also performed at the benefit concert.