Over the past year Arcade Fire have been very busy with the release of their fourth studio album, Reflektor, and the huge tour to support it. But this week we turned back the clocks to celebrate Funeral, Arcade Fire's debut album.
In 2001 two high school classmates and friends, Win Butler and John Deu, founded Arcade Fire in Montreal, Quebec. While practicing and recording at McGill University they met Regine Chassagne (who is now married to Win), amongst others, and Arcade Fire started to take shape. They released a self titled EP in 2003 and went on tour to support it. Shows immediately began to sell out, and all of a sudden Arcade Fire were ready to break out onto the international music scene.
2004 was a time when "emo" music was starting to shape the mainstream, but it wasn't for everyone. Young adults and students were looking for something else; music that remained emotional but turned a different corner. Then, on September 14th, Arcade Fire's debut album Funeral was released. The album was received with huge praise, getting a rating of 9.7 out of 10 from Pitchfork and the second most number of appearances on end-of-decade top 10 lists, only behind Radiohead's Kid A. Win and Regine had both lost a grandparent during the writing process and the album gets its success from the way it often focuses on death, yet does so in an uplifting way. There is a huge amount of emotion in the lyrics, but the songs on the album tend to lift your spirits instead of keep you down. We are all faced with this dilemma at times, how to cope with a loss, and Funeral helped our generation do so in a good space.
This magnificent album was released at a near perfect time and the hole in the music libraries of many was filled. 10 years have passed now, but this debut album will remain time-less in the hearts of those who have grown up with it.