We're starting to get a fuller picture of Arcade Fire's new record 'Reflektor'. Here's what we've learned, starting with the fact that we've got a full double album to look forward to.
If it wasn't obvious from hearing it, David Bowie's official Facebook page confirmed his appearance on 'Reflektor', saying: "We can confirm that David Bowie has supplied a brief backing vocal on the James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) produced track..."
The band launched the 'Reflektor' single with a surprise show in Montreal at the small Salsatheque venue. They played under the alias 'The Reflektors' on Monday, 9 September 9. It cost, of course, $9.
The band have released two videos for 'Reflektor'. One, directed by Vincent Morisset, is "an interactive short film that explores the themes in Arcade Fire's 'Reflektor' through two devices simultaneously: the computer and smartphone/tablet." Users must have the Google Chrome web browser to interact with the film.
...the second is a black and white video directed by Anton Corbijn.
The album artwork features a sculpture by Auguste Rodin, from the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice.
Arcade Fire's Win Butler wrote a handwritten letter to address criticism over the band's 'Reflektor' graffiti marketing campaign. He wrote: "The chalk campaign was supposed to echo with Haitan veve drawings that are done in chalk or in the dirt. It is sometimes hard to control all these tiny details when you are doing something on such a large scale."
Pre-orders for the album will come with first access to ticket sales for special shows as well as the band's forthcoming world tour.
Despite the intricate and mysterious publicity campaign, the band chose to announce the release date in understated fashion: they responded to a fan's tweet telling them that the band were his "favorite" by tweeting back: "Thanks. Our new album will be out October 29th."
A teaser video from the Creators Project called 'The Reflektors' featured people walking through crowds in full-body fabric suits with reflective panels carrying boomboxes playing what is presumably new Arcade Fire music.
David Bowie likes 'Reflektor' so much he threatened to steal it. Richard Reed Parry told NME: "He offered to lend us his services because he really liked the song. In fact, he basically threatened us – he was like, 'If you don't hurry up and mix this song, I might just steal it from you!' So we thought, well why don't we go one better, why don't you sing on our version?"
The band originally intended 2010's 'The Suburbs' to be a double album, so they see Reflektor as fulfilling that ambition. Richard Reed Parry says that although the single 'Reflektor' represents "an angle of the record" the full thing is "pretty all over the map."
James Murphy was chosen as producer because he was "a perfect fit for what we were trying to do in getting a little dancier."
Win Butler described the album as "a mash-up of Studio 54 and Haitian voodoo." The band have visited several times - the country, that is, not the nightclub.
Richard Reed Parry confirmed to the NME that the band have been dabbling in numerology, as evidenced by their preoccuption with the number nine. Here's what a numerology expert makes of it.
The band debuted a handful of new tracks (names of new tracks) during a US TV special on 28 September, after appearing on Saturday Night Live. Friends of the band Bono, Ben Stiller and Michael Cera all appeared in the short film.