Jack Lawrence reviews 'the gate', an intriguing return for Bjork that yet lacks the vital eccentricities of her best workWritten by Jack Lawrence on 20th September 2017
Single Review: Arcade Fire – Creature Comfort
Sierra Malia enjoys a brash and surprisingly dark new single from Arcade Fire
Your favourite Canadian indie band is back with a hodgepodge of dark truths set to a surprisingly upbeat backdrop with their new single 'Creature Comfort'. Elephant in the room aside, Arcade Fire sounds very different. To be completely honest, when I first hit play, aside from the initial shock that came with this new, foreign sound, I was not expecting to like the song very much. It sounded vaguely like something Calvin Harris could have put together on an airplane for another summer anthem that, by August, I would never want to hear again (and probably never would) until I took the time to listen to and read the lyrics. This prompted an epiphany regarding the genius of this new age Arcade Fire. They’re the same desolated band in different packaging. The song discusses in a very blunt manner societal issues that, though many would argue have begun to sound redundant, are still wholly relevant from the fragile nature of father/son relationships to eating disorders and societal pressure: issues that have no easy or universal fix.
“It evokes this atmosphere of absolute absurdity. It is almost as if these truths are just being accepted at face value, which is very different to older Arcade Fire songs.
Narrating a type of hopelessness and endlessness that comes with awareness but inability to make change, this song reflects an entire generation of people in limbo with having names and terms for conditions but no quick or feasible way to combat them. The lyrics 'we can dance but we can’t feel the beat' act as a metaphor for being aware but being unable to make tidal waves of change. The redundancy of the music and chorus acts to mirror the droning nature of helplessness. What, to me, makes this song exceptional is the self-awareness of the lesser talked about pressure on this generation to be something exceptional and to make a name for yourself ('god make me famous / if you can’t just make it painless'). There is also this even further self-reflective self-awareness (if that's even possible?) in that if you become famous you then contribute to the problem - the chorus hesitantly wails 'on and on I don’t know what I want / on and on I don’t know if I want it'.
Juxtaposition of dark and honest lyrics with their delivery and music is one of the things that make this song so brilliant. It evokes this atmosphere of absolute absurdity. It is almost as if these truths are just being accepted at face value, which is very different to older Arcade Fire songs. Knowing the nature of the first single ('Everything Now'), a lighter and more optimistic message of conviction in life, I’m now convinced Arcade Fire has gone through a full-blown existentialist reevaluation of life and will now go on to discuss the optimistic and freeing nature of this ideology and I cannot wait to see what the rest of this album has in store.
'Creature Comfort' is available to stream online now. Everything Now is released July 28th via Columbia Records. Arcade Fire play London on July 4th.