Win Butler Confirms Arcade Fire Is Working On A New Album In Quarantine

By Katrina Nattress

April 14, 2020

The 2018 JUNO Awards - Arrivals

Win Butler turns 40 today (April 14), and on the eve of his birthday the Arcade Fire frontman shared a lengthy handwritten letter spread across three Instagram posts. In the first, Butler recalled how he felt when he turned 30 and that those feelings hadn't changed much in the last decade. In the second, he began detailing the new project.

"Regine and I have been writing for the last couple of years, and the band was a few months into recording new material when COVID-19 hit," he divulged. "We had been exploring a lot of lyrical and musical themes that feel almost eerily related to what is happening now (we actually have a song called Age of Anxiety written a year ago for Christ’s sake - ha ha ). Needless to say, the writing has intensified, and the work is flowing out... It is challenging as ever, and with just as much purpose."

He went on to explain how he believes the pandemic will change music going forward. "Though this crisis may ultimately change or destroy aspects of the music industry, I believe it will only strengthen music as an art form," he wrote before sending a message of love to fans. "It has never felt more essential, spiritual and irreplaceable...a church that lives in the air between the source and your ears... I just want you to know, dear reader, that you aren’t forgotten. The world is experiencing incredible suffering and uncertainty. I already know people who have been sick and died, and hope that you and those you love have been spared."

in the third and final post, Butler revealed that he's been spending his time in quarantine writing and recording. "For my part, I’m pouring my heart, soul and all of my precious time into the music and recording," he said. "When you listen to the music that’s coming (...eventually...not soon…if you don’t have patience by now, you definitely aren’t reading this), you will know what we were working on under quarantine."

See Butler's full letter below.

View this post on Instagram

Post 1/3 April 13,2020 To the wonderful fans of @arcadefire ,

First of all, I’m sorry if at any time, I have taken for granted the incredible privilege it has been to perform for you and have you engage and listen to our music.

On the eve of my 40th birthday, I find myself reflecting on my last big birthday; turning 30 (both excellent times to reflect). We were in Austin completing vocals and finishing touches on “The Suburbs”. Will, Spike and I had been intensely working on the script that would become “Scenes from the Suburbs.” Trying to finish a record that was so intensely personal was overwhelming. I didn’t even have the energy to celebrate, but we still went to a little Tex Mex place (definitely my death row cuisine of choice😊) I remember sitting in the fake leather booth, barely able to speak because of mental exhaustion, my true friends scattered all over the world and no where in sight, and thinking “It feels pretty great to be here at 30.” I was doing challenging work, with amazing band mates, making music I felt inspired by and driven to complete.

I’m happy to report that at 40, I’m still pretty much in the same zone!!

A post shared by Arcade Fire (@arcadefire) on

View this post on Instagram

Post 2/3 @arcadefire Regine and I have been writing for the last couple of years, and the band was a few months into recording new material when COVID-19 hit…We had been exploring a lot of lyrical and musical themes that feel almost eerily related to what is happening now (we actually have a song called Age of Anxiety written a year ago for Christ’s sake - ha ha ). Needless to say, the writing has intensified, and the work is flowing out... It is challenging as ever, and with just as much purpose. Though this crisis may ultimately change or destroy aspects of the music industry, I believe it will only strengthen music as an art form. It has never felt more essential, spiritual and irreplaceable...a church that lives in the air between the source and your ears... I just want you to know, dear reader, that you aren’t forgotten. The world is experiencing incredible suffering and uncertainty. I already know people who have been sick and died, and hope that you and those you love have been spared.

A post shared by Arcade Fire (@arcadefire) on

View this post on Instagram

Post 3/3 @arcadefire For my part, I’m pouring my heart, soul and all of my precious time into the music and recording. (Not closing the door on doing some online performances, but it feels like many artists have that covered;) But talk to me in August when we are all climbing the walls...consider that a song request Radiohead 😊 ) 
When you listen to the music that’s coming (...eventually...not soon…if you don’t have patience by now, you definitely aren’t reading this), you will know what we were working on under quarantine.

Sending love and light! Take care of yourselves, friends, family and neighborhood. 
With unending love and respect,

Your pal, Win P.S. my fucking hands hurt, don’t remember how I used to do this

A post shared by Arcade Fire (@arcadefire) on

Photo: Getty Images

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