Is that ABBA we hear? Is that… oh god, a pan flute?
Arcade Fire have defied expectation ever since they took a swift sideward step into disco on 2013’s ‘Reflektor’, and, realistically, comeback single ‘Everything Now’ was never going to be any less unpredictable, was it?
Released via a press release that contained lines like “the new album is Arcade Fire’s first release under its new partnership with the global media and e-commerce platform Everything Now in synergy with the Sony corporation,” the band have never been more tongue in cheek. But alhough ‘Everything Now’ is the most free-flowing and simple Arcade Fire have maybe ever sounded musically - it’s genuinely hard to connect the single to the tight, intense, grief-driven force that wrote ‘Funeral’ over a decade ago - it’s a track that’s lyrically complicated and, at times, a little messy.
Broadening their horizons over the past five years, it’s quite clear that “everything now” - as a statement as well as an album title - is exactly what Arcade Fire want, and though their all-encompassing desire for ubiquity often lead ‘Reflektor’ and this new single to feel like, as Win Butler sings on ‘Everything Now’, “every song that I’ve ever heard is playing at the same time”, it’s hard to fault their ambition. As another step towards reinvention and a rallying cry against a culture of instant gratification, ‘Everything Now’ is a brilliant return that leaves nothing behind - all cards on the table - even if it could be an offcut from the ‘Mamma Mia’ soundtrack.