Wednesday, June 07, 2017

The resurrection of indie rock royalty

The fact that Episode 15 of Sounding Bored, recorded at the tail-end of March, focused on the indie titans of the noughties was rather prescient, given that so many of them are now back on the scene with new music.

Let's start the round-up with Arcade Fire's 'Everything Now'. It was very much not a case of love at first listen, but ever since getting my head around the fact that it's like ABBA making a Suburbs-era grand statement on the zeitgeist, I've been a big fan - to such an extent that I'm even prepared to overlook the presence of fucking panpipes. The song is certainly far superior to their last offering, the collaboration with Mavis Staples 'I Give You Power'.

'Everything Now' will be appearing on an album of the same name, with production duties handled variously by Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk, Pulp's Steve Mackey and Portishead's Geoff Barrow. There'll also be an accompanying tour, which will see Grandmaster Flash, Wolf Parade, Angel Olsen and Broken Social Scene sharing support duties.

The latter have also announced their return with a new LP, Hug Of Thunder, the long-awaited successor to 2010's Forgiveness Rock Record. Personally speaking, the burning question will be the same as ever: can they finally release an album that matches their brilliance in the live environment? It's a brilliance that Manchester got to enjoy the day after the Arena bombing in what was, by the sounds of it, a profoundly cathartic experience.

In the time that Broken Social Scene have been away, LCD Soundsystem formally called it quits only to stage a comeback. New track 'Call The Police' is absolutely superb (all sinuous bassline and gradual build), and 'American Dream' isn't much less impressive, so I've got high hopes that their next LP will be a significant improvement on what had looked to be a disappointing swansong, 2010's This Is Happening.

And then, of course, there's At The Drive-In (even if describing the post-hardcore firebrands as noughties indie rock royalty might be a bit of a stretch). I've not yet fully got into new album In.ter, but there's enough in 'Hostage Stamps' and 'Call Broken Arrow' (both performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live) to suggest that it's only a matter of time.

It's good to have them all back.

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