Arcade Fire: Keep The Car Running

Canadian noise-popsters return: 2007 declared safe for music

OK, so the indie stratosphere’s been a fun place the last two years, but something’s been missing. A voice, as comforting as Dad reading bedside stories but distant like a lonely soul at a cliff edge, a David Byrne mixed with Springsteen and varnished in glorious anguish voice. Remember that voice? The one that made you shiver and sigh in 2004, accompanied by orchestration soundtracking every dream and memory? Well, do you want the good news or the great?

Marking Arcade Fire’s feverishly-awaited return (after a limited download of ‘Intervention’) this is as brilliant as we could have hoped. Devoid of Regine’s assistance, Win’s voice instantly courses through your nerves, tingling receptors at every extremity. Repeated calls to “keep the car running” epitomise the urgency of the track, thundering faster than usual with Cure-like basslines and distorted mandolin stabs. Arriving just over a year after ‘Rebellion (Lies)’ was Number Two in NME’s Track Of The Year 2005 poll, this begs the question: just how do they splutter timelessly brilliant elegies out at the rate most bands cough up Xanax? While you’re ushering this track up to the zenith of Play Count Mountain, bear in mind ‘Neon Bible’ has plenty more where this came from and prepare to have your tiny minds blown.