Montreal band Arcade Fire are back with their first new album since 2017’s Everything Now. WE, out on May 6, was recorded in New Orleans, Mount Desert Island and El Paso.
Produced by Nigel Godrich and founding band members Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, the seven-song album will be split into two sides: “I” (about isolation and anxiety) and “WE” (about reconnection and community).
The album announcement came with the black-and-white video for the first single, “The Lightning I, II,” directed by Emily Kai Bock. In a newsletter to fans, Butler described the video by saying, “It was recorded with Nigel Godrich in El Paso, TX in the shadow of the Mexican border wall, which lay unfinished at the edge of the property. It was peak Covid. El Paso was the epicenter in the U.S. at that time, they were using prison inmates to move bodies to the overfull morgues, because the healthcare system was completely overwhelmed.”
He added, “I’ll never forget finishing the take and walking straight to our outdoor communal space where we had screwed a television into a tree so we could watch election results outside, to see the news that Trump had lost the election.”
Butler explained that the video “expresses the feeling of the last two years: trying to make grand plans only to have the storms of life force you to improvise.”
Watch the video for “The Lightning I, II” below: