Over the last 12 months, the Internet's been doling out tidbits regarding Arcade Fire's fourth full-length album—this would be the follow-up to the one anointed with a Grammy, in case you momentarily blanked on the Day Indie Rock Triumphed. Because nowadays album releases need a push to become events anyone actually cares about, the band's been hesitate to confirm too many facts, instead leading fans on city-wide scavenger hunts for clues. At least we think that's what they're doing. We're not really sure. Excavating the many realms of social media and the web, let's examine what we know so far...
- A post on the band's official Twitter account asking if "Anybody want(s) to buy a church?," accompanied by a link to a Montreal-based real estate listing, inferred they would no longer be recording at their fabled church-studio hybrid for this album. The listing for the church was eventually updated as "sold" for $325,000.
- So where will they be recording and with whom? How about in New York with James Murphy , confirmed to be on board as producer (for at least three songs), in addition to longtime collaborator Markus Dravs.
- As of early spring, the band was still at work, presumably with one James Murphy, in DFA's Manhattan studio.
- A release date was confirmed when the band responded to a fan's tweet reading, "you're my favorite." "Thanks. Our new album will be out October 29th" probably wasn't what said fan was expecting to hear in return. The image below, presumably from a 1976 fire at the Montreal Biosphère, seems to be important (possible album cover?). It was included with the tweet and has since appeared on the band's official website (where they double-confirm the release date), along with a new promo pic of the band.
- In an interview with NME last month, James Murphy confirmed that Regine was in the studio right up until giving birth in April and that the album is more-or-less finished, at least by non-Arcade Fire standards. Oh, also, it's epic: "It sounds like Arcade Fire in the way that only Arcade Fire sound like Arcade Fire, you know? It's really fucking epic. Seriously. I mean, I feel at this point like I'm too close to it to really talk it up and do it justice. You know?"
- A publicist for Merge confirmed the label will be releasing the album in the U.S.
- According to a fan-operated Twitter feed, Owen Pallet will be rejoining their touring lineup.
- Street art logos with the word "Reflektor" have been popping up in cities around the world, instigating rumors of a possible album title. Though this remains unconfirmed by anyone in the band's camp, Consequence of Sound has confirmed at least two street artists claiming to have been commissioned by the Arcade Fire crew.
- Of course there's an Instagram feed chronicling the whereabouts of the "Reflektor" tags. It also links to this this website, currently running a video in which an artist writes out the word while Arcade Fire-esque music plays in the background.
- As of now, there are reports of "Reflektor" graffiti spotted in Brooklyn by the Bedford L stop and another near the Knitting Factory. See here:
- The webmaster of AF's fan-operated Facebook page (which the band links to from their official website) posted a cryptic message of their own, possibly confirming-by-not-confirming the "Reflektor" rumors.
- "Reflektor" stickers were all over the place at Lollapalooza, so says more Internet commenters, while the "Reflektor" video was played prior to sets at both Lolla and Oshega this past weekend.
- It seems wholly possible this may be a track from the new album. A least maybe?
- Hey, remember when Arcade Fire randomly played a few songs in the middle of Union Square in 2005? That doesn't have anything to do with their new album—other than, I suppose, their appreciation for gonzo promo tactics—but I just wanted to watch the video again:
Follow Lauren Beck on Twitter @heylaurenbeck.