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.
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?
— Arcade Fire (@arcadefire) June 1, 2017
Broken Social Scene
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.
Tonight, we play for the hearts of Manchester.... pic.twitter.com/cpi2dU7srz— Broken Social Scene (@bssmusic) May 23, 2017
Hello music columnist Nicholas Jennings surveys the pop landscape each week to find the most dynamic tracks to add to your playlist.