ARCADE FIRE are back with their first official single in five years. They’ve also announced a brand-new album called ‘WE’, slated for release on 6th May.

Produced by Nigel Godrich, Win Butler, and Régine Chassagne, and recorded in New Orleans, El Paso, and Mount Desert Island, WE’ resulted from “the longest we’ve ever spent writing, uninterrupted, probably ever,” according to Butler. With seven songs divided into two sides, Side “I” is about “the fear and loneliness of isolation” and Side “WE” is about “the joy and power of reconnection,” according to a press release.

The first single is a tantalising insight into what’s to come – even the title itself suggests big things, as the band’s highest peaks have often been released in pairs or sequences (‘Sprawl I, II’ and ‘Neighbourhood #1, #2, #3, #4).

Debuted at an exclusively small show in New Orleans on Monday, the track sees the band return to their most epic and ambitious. With Win Butler’s lyrics conjuring images of spiritual uncertainty, it simultaneously channels the noirish thrill of 2007’s ‘Neon Bible’ and the inventive piano motifs of ‘The Suburbs’ – galloping off to a thrilling crescendo.

Sure to be a hit with long time fans, it’s a humongous yet heartfelt return.

Photo by Michael Marcelle