Arcade Fire’s ‘Creature Comfort’ Treads a Dangerous Line of Self-Awareness

Much like ‘Everything Now’, Arcade Fire’s ‘Creature Comfort’ deals heavily in irony. ‘Everything Now’ scorned modern life’s passively destructive relationship with

media despite Win Butler’s own admissions that he too feeds the same issue with his own habits. But on ‘Creature Comfort’, the irony of this statement is a different animal.

Armed with scrutinising laser beam synths, Butler inspects image consciousness and the debilitating effect it has on young people especially. Pressures of fame and social acceptance slip into the narrative as Butler feeds the listener several harrowing snapshots. ‘Some girls hate their bodies/Stand in the mirror and wait for the feedback,’ booms Butler. The message seems clear at this point; like ‘Everything Now’, Arcade Fire blow up an issue with massive, stadium-sized letters and bright conspicuous lights. But the turning point comes in the second verse:

‘Assisted suicide
She dreams about dying all the time
She told me she came so close
Filled up the bathtub and put on our first record’

Butler offers an interesting double meaning here. Does Arcade Fire’s first album Funeral assist the suicide or prevent it? Either way it’s mild bragging from one of the world’s most beloved bands but it’s mixed with intense moments of empathy too. Whether you agree with the pomposity here or not, ‘Creature Comfort’ will probably make someone think twice about committing suicide and save a life in the process. And with that in mind, Arcade Fire presenting their own music as a solution doesn’t sound as conceited as it initially did.


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