Monday, March 28, 2011

For The Win

Today is dedicated to honouring and celebrating the wonder that is the Canadian collective Arcade Fire, who as of last night are the newest 2011 Juno recipients of the Songwriter of the Year award. Since their inception, since the first time their complex and breathtaking music blared from my bedroom speakers with "Wake Up", this band has absolutely blown me away.

Their thoughtful and provocative songwriting is, of course, the best of this year. The Suburbs, their most recent release, was undeniably life-changing for people globally, with its wide and eclectic range of advanced sounds that made the world stop and consider new things. They are that one band, for me at least, that represents what contemporary 21st century music means. They are, in a nutshell, the future.

But it didn't start with The Suburbs - and anyone who thinks it did is missing out on a discography foundation and history that will cause their love to blossom more than they could imagine. It began with Funeral in 2004, a dramatic and beautiful album that hopped back and forth across the musical map in terms of its sounds and concepts - while maintaining the same bottom line: breathtaking. If you haven't already, please listen to "Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels)", because the first time I heard it, life as I knew it was over - my new favourite band had been found. Who were these people? And how could they do that? The lyrics that read, "And if my parents are crying/ Then I'll dig a tunnel, from my window to yours/ You change all the lead/ Sleepin' in my head/ As the day grows dim/ I hear you sing a golden hymn," are almost too unbelievably perfect to fit with music. A poem put with a tune - bliss.

So, today you should listen to Arcade Fire, and celebrate that they are glorious, Canadian and sound exactly as they do. When it comes to Arcade Fire, we wouldn't change a thing.




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