The fact that Arcade Fire’s momentous new single ‘Everything Now’ sounds like ABBA (‘Dancing Queen’ in particular) is by no means a coincidence. The Swedish pop maestros were masters in wrapping melancholic tales in uplifting melodies and Win Butler and co. have incorporated their ethos into the buoyant stride of their new song.
The residue of Reflektor‘s dance-inspired vibe lives on in ‘Everything Now’ even if that presence is just ghostly. The composition is indebted to disco, with pealing strings that both recall ABBA and Radiohead’s apocalyptic ‘Burn The Witch’. The upbeat piano melody is the overriding facet here, driving a falsely positive conception that is undone by Win Butler’s grief-laden depiction of modern society. The song’s title is a precursor to what lies ahead; ironically, Arcade Fire, who seemingly deal in strictly excessive displays of sweeping orchestral rock, lament society’s impatience and demand in the technology age.
‘Everything Now’ reflects on surplus and ubiquity, the over-spill and inescapable nature of media coverage and culture. And Butler owns up to his part in this tragedy. ‘And every room in my house is filled with shit I couldn’t live without,’ he sings near the track’s close. Here we’re forced to confront our numbness to real feeling and importance, to try and disconnect from an endlessly connected world and trade it for a shot at eternal happiness rather than the momentary high of material consumption. In 2017, of all years, ‘Everything Now’ feels like the ultimate meta-pop anthem.