Listen to this: New singles from Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene

By Nicholas Jennings

Two of Canada’s biggest bands have new singles out this week. While both tracks are sonically euphoric and undeniably uplifting, the messages behind the songs are more ambiguous, expressing perplexing thoughts and cautionary tales about the world we live in.

Arcade Fire

“Everything Now”

The alt-rock band shifted toward more of a dance-oriented sound on its last album, 2013’s Reflektor. The first single from the group’s much anticipated fifth album keeps things upbeat musically, with keyboards, strings and a disco sound similar to Abba’s “Dancing Queen.” But the subject matter is not entirely cheery, with sarcastic lyrics that bemoan a culture of instant gratification.

Arcade Fire is keeping mum about its forthcoming album, but the band tweeted a cryptic message and image. Could this be the album cover and title?

Broken Social Scene

“Skyline”

The sprawling collective, made up of members of Metric, Stars and Feist herself, is preparing its first album since 2010’s Forgiveness Rock Record. The group’s fifth album, Hug of Thunder, is due out July 7. The third single to tease that release is this four-minute, mostly acoustic track featuring a repeated lyric: “Skyline waits for the world/Skyline waits for the fall/But you shouldn’t have come at all/Because I know/You’re never gonna be that way.” The music builds to a soaring, ecstatic finish.

BSS have used repetition to its advantage before, most notably in its classic “Anthems for a 17-Year-Old Girl,” which the group performed in Manchester with surprise guest Johnny Marr on the night following the Ariana Grande concert tragedy. It was an emotional performance captured in a tweet from the band.

Hello music columnist Nicholas Jennings surveys the pop landscape each week to find the most dynamic tracks to add to your playlist.

HELLO! Canada magazine is available for your tablet and smartphone. Get HELLO! Canada, PEOPLE, Vanity Fair and over 100 more of the world’s best magazines for one low monthly price at Texture by Next Issue. CLICK HERE to sign up for a free trial.