Things have been especially quiet over at the Arcade Fire camp at late, with the latest reports being that the band are flitting in and out of the studio working on the follow-up to their Grammy Award-winning album, 2010’s The Suburbs.
The biggest rumours surrounding the album was that former LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy was helping out on the Montreal collective’s latest magnum opus. Though often such collaborations often sound too good to be true (and more often than not are), Murphy’s presence as producer or performer on the new Arcade Fire has now been confirmed.
As Pitchfork reports (via fan community Arcade Fire Tube) the rumours have now become fact, with Scott Rodger, manager for Arcade Fire letting slip in a recent feature that James Murphy was indeed in the studio with the mercurial seven-piece working on their forthcoming album.
“They’re in with James Murphy on three or so songs, plus Markus Dravs who is a long-time collaborator,” says Rodger. “They write too many songs – that’s a good problem to have. There’s around 35 songs with Arcade Fire, two albums’ worth for sure.”
Rodger offered no further details as to Murphy’s role, or in fact when the record would be ready, offering only that it was likely for a late release next year. “They’re in with James Murphy on three or so songs…” – Scott Rodger, Arcade Fire manager
It’s not the first time the band and the LCD Soundsystem linchpin have crossed paths. With members from the Canadian group joining the dance punk’s final live performance at New York City’s Madison Square Garden in April 2011. As the band reached the closing curtain of their epic 29 song set, Murphy was joined by Win and William Butler and Régine Chassagne of the Arcade Fire, who sang backing vocals 2007’s ‘North American Scum’.
Now that he’s once again working with Arcade Fire, Murphy has obviously staved off his boredom since retiring LCD Soundsystem. Using his downtime to dabble into acting – co-starring with Tim Heidecker (of Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! fame) in the 2012 drama, The Comedy.
Murphy has also been doing more composing for the silver screen, following on from his score for the 2010 Ben Stiller comedy Greenberg, he revealed earlier in the year that a “director pal” had asked him to record a cover song for an upcoming soundtrack and to “consider briefly reuniting LCD Soundsystem” to do so.
Though Murphy insisted at the time he was still ambivalent about the dissolution of the group, “quitting seemed funny,” he said, “It seemed insane. It seemed like: Why would anybody do it?”
“That band was me,” remarked Murphy, “even if I go make a record and it says James Murphy, it’s still me. There’s a line through that stuff that I don’t feel like it’s in my past. I will be very happy if I make a bunch more records, and 15 years from now someone asks me about LCD Soundsystem because they feel like that’s the important thing. I’ve watched too many artists in my life forget how good the things they used to do were.”
The Arcade Fire couldn’t be accused as one of those bands, and though they’ve been keeping fairly quiet – including a meagre touring schedule – working with Murphy on new material is enough reason to start getting excited.