Arcade Fire is back with a brand new song and video for “The Lightning I, II”. The band’s front man, Win Butler, shared a statement about the tune:
What will the light bring?
WE are so excited to present our new song
“The Lightning I, II”.
It was recorded with Nigel Godrich in El Paso, TX in the shadow of the Mexican border wall, which lay unfinished at the edge of the property.
It was peak Covid. El Paso was the epicenter in the U.S. at that time, they were using prison inmates to move bodies to the overfull morgues, because the healthcare system was completely overwhelmed.
I’ll never forget finishing the take and walking straight to our outdoor communal space where we had screwed a television into a tree so we could watch election results outside, to see the news that Trump had lost the election.
The emotion in the vocal was inspired by the Haitian immigrants that were amassing on the US border, after boarding ships from Haiti and walking from as far as Brazil for a chance at freedom, only to be met with whips and dogs and officers on horseback.
I was lyrically inspired by the optimism I see in my child living in paradise “beneath a poison sky”.
But mostly WE wanted to play the song so fast and hard that you can’t breathe when it’s over… with the realization that you can’t win them all, even when you give it all.
A 4th place anthem.
And a reminder that “A day, a week, a month, a year, every second brings me here”.
The video directed by our friend (and fellow Montreal DIY scene alum) Emily Kai Bock expresses the feeling of the last two years: trying to make grand plans only to have the storms of life force you to improvise.
Sometimes bright flashes of
Lightning to guide our way, light up the sky, and burn it all
down so we can start again…
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