One of my greatest (music-related) regrets in life is that I never got to see LCD Soundsystem live; they played at the Big Day Out back in 2008 but back then my only priority was being front row for Arcade Fire’s set and as a result I missed them. I don’t think their stuff would have really appealed to me as much back then- their music is so focused on the anxieties that come with getting older and feeling irrelevant/out of touch with the world, and when I was 19 none of those things really crossed my mind.
The band broke up in 2012 after releasing their third album This is Happening and playing a massive run of shows at Madison Square Garden, as permanently immortalised in the concert film Shut up and Play the Hits (still one of the coolest documentaries I’ve ever seen.) Back then there was a sense that the band were breaking up prematurely; the band were more popular than they’d ever been. But lead singer James Murphy was in his 40s at this point and claimed he was worried about the toll touring would take on his health; he also wanted to pursue other projects. So he dismantled the band. I started listening to them a couple of years later and cursed my younger self for having no taste in music, and that was that, the band were over and we’d never be blessed with any new LCD music ever again.
Well, they proved us all wrong. We live in an age where bands break up and get back together over and over again- some for the money, some for the love of it all. In December 2015 Murphy quietly released ‘Christmas Will Break Your Heart’ on the band’s Youtube page, and then mere weeks later announced they would be reuniting to headline the 2016 Coachella festival. After touring extensively throughout 2016 (including cancelling a run of dates here in Australia to work on their new album) the first two singles from their still-untitled fourth studio album were released in May of this year- ‘American Dream’ and ‘Call the Police’.
‘American Dream’ is slow-paced, full of 80s synths and the band’s signature drum sound- it’s the kind of song you could picture people slow-dancing to at a twenty-year school reunion, overwhelmed by their failures. ‘Call the Police’ is a lot more upbeat and the sound is definitely a throwback to other classic LCD tracks like ‘Someone Great’ and ‘All My Friends’. If these tracks are any indication of what the rest of the album is going to be like, it’s going to be absolutely brilliant.
LCD Soundsystem will be in Australia later this year for Splendour in the Grass, and while they’ve announced a few sideshows on the East Coast, rather predictably there’s nothing lined up for Perth. Which means I might have to wait a bit longer before I get to see them, but at least now there’s hope that it’ll happen someday.