The Suburbs (5:14)

Cover of The Suburbs

From The Suburbs and 6 other releases

Arcade Fire Songs can be triggered by a simple act. According to The Suburbs Songfacts, frontman Win Butler was sent a photograph of an old school friend of his, who was standing with his daughter sitting on his shoulders “at the mall around the corner from where we lived”. He added: “The combination of seeing this familiar place and seeing my friend with his child brought back a lot of feeling from that time. I found myself trying to remember the town that we grew up in and trying to retrace as much as I could remember.”

At the same time, other Arcade Fire band members of a similarly suburban origin across Canada had revisited their childhood environs and, in some cases, found there was not much left: buildings were boarded up, if they still existed at all; new roads and rivers had magically appeared, altering the landscape that now only existed in faded photographs. When they reconvened, this was the first song they wrote. Said Win: “We started working on the song, and once that started to sound like music it felt like we were making an album.”


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