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Montreal group the Arcade Fire are one of the biggest indie bands in the world, following two critically loved albums and a reputation for energetic live performances. Debut release Funeral caught 2004 by surprise. Nobody in the Arcade Fire had suggested big talent before and it was not preceded by hit singles or hype. Upon release, however, it blew away music critics, who gushed about its operatic scope, open-armed emotional honesty and sheer joyousness. Though it dealt with death as a common theme, its mood wasn't morose: instead it combined poignant reflection with life-affirming catharsis, concluding that recognising the sadness of death also meant recognising that life was worth celebrating. As it wasn't released in the UK until early 2005, the album ended up winning year-end polls in both years, and is now widely regarded as one of the best records of the decade so far. It took them touring around the world and they appeared on TV shows, culminating in an on-stage performance with fan David Bowie. By the end of 2005, with just one album under their belt, Arcade Fire were the biggest new indie band in the world. The much-anticipated follow-up was released in March 2007. Ironically, Neon Bible had a darker mood than Funeral, and seemed to reflect concerns with global politics and progress. With its focus switching from passionate emotion to intellectual debate, it divided opinion more than the universally loved Funeral. Nevertheless, it was still warmly received by most critics and their new, larger fanbase, and was included in many publications' year-end lists for 2007.

Official Website: http://www.arcadefire.com/

Added by ashley.hetherington31 on July 23, 2010