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Watch Arcade Fire debut new songs during livestream gig

The band's new album, 'WE', is set to be released next month

By Will Richards

Arcade Fire performing live
Arcade Fire. (Photo: Krists Luhaerso).

Arcade Fire played a special livestreamed gig on Friday night (April 1) – watch them perform new material at the show below.

Last month, the Canadian band shared details of their new album ‘WE’ alongside first single ‘The Lightning I, II’.

Arcade Fire‘s sixth album will be released on May 6. Longtime Radiohead collaborator Nigel Godrich has produced the record with band members Win Butler and Régine Chassagne.

On Friday, the band played at a “block party” event at New Orleans’ Woldenberg Park for telecommunications company AT&T.

During the set, they played ‘The Lightning I, II’ as well as another unreleased song from ‘WE’, called ‘Age Of Anxiety II (Rabbit Hole)’.

Elsewhere in the set, the band drew from all five of their studio albums, closing the set by welcoming the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on stage for a massive rendition of their hit single ‘Wake Up’.

Watch a full replay of the show below.

New album ‘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”.

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…

Ahead of the release of the album, Win’s brother and the band’s longtime multi-instrumentalist, Will Butler, announced he was leaving the band.

“There was no acute reason beyond that I’ve changed – and the band has changed – over the last almost 20 years,” he said, adding that “the band are still my friends and family”.