Members: Win Butler, Régine Chassagne, Richard Reed Parry, William Butler, Jeremy Gara, Sarah Neufeld, Tim Kingsbury, Marika Anthony-Shaw
Genre: Indie, Rock
Hometown: Montreal, Quebec
Albums: Funeral (2004), Neon Bible (2007), The Suburbs (2010)
With an eclectic mix of instrumentation and vocal styling, along with immense musical talent, Arcade Fire has risen to become one of the most critically acclaimed bands in recent years. Coming out of Montreal, few bands have managed to create a similar sound, and the octet has managed to carve out a large following of indie music fans.
Arcade Fire was formed in the early 2000s by lead singer Win Butler and his wife Régine Chassagne. Together they form the core of what the band is today. Despite some early tension, the group managed to write and record an impressive list of songs that would eventually become their 2004 debut album, Funeral, which catapulted them into the spotlight.
Released in September 2004, the record was an immediate hit. With a number of popular singles, including "Rebellion (Lies)," "Neighborhood #1(Tunnels)" and "Wake Up," the album was a favorite among fans, but even more well-received by critics. Many industry analysts praised its euphoric sound and complex combination of instruments such as the glockenspiel, accordion, and a powerful string quintet that eventually went on to earn the band a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Album.
Though Funeral made them a household name among indie fans, it was Arcade Fire's follow-up album that introduced them to a wider audience. Neon Bible, released in March 2007, was a hit as well. Though not as critically well-received, the album was a much bigger commercial success and peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 charts thanks to tracks such as "Intervention" and "Keep the Car Running."
After an extensive tour in support of Neon Bible, Arcade Fire got back to work on their much-anticipated follow up, and if fan reaction was any indication, it was well worth the wait. The 2010 album The Suburbs was released with great fanfare. Widely considered to be one of the best records of the year, both fans and critics alike loved tunes such as "Month of May" and "Ready to Start." Its immense support earned the band its first ever Grammy Award when it won Album of the Year, beating such pop music standards as Lady Gaga and Eminem.
With such a unique sound and the talent to back it up, it is not too far-fetched to believe Arcade Fire will be hot for years to come.
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