The Arcade Fire won critical acclaim in 2004 for Funeral, their first full length album. Amidst Funeral‘s wild popularity, however, Arcade Fire’s earlier EP, referred to as the Us kids Know EP, has been somewhat overshadowed. Remastered and rereleased in 2005, the EP does not share the impressive and coherent synergy of Funeral. Nonetheless, several songs from the EP can stand up individually to those from Funeral. Of greatest interest to any Arcade Fire fan, consequently, will be tracking the evolution of the band from the EP to Funeral.
‘Old Flame’ is the opening track from the EP. It has such a remarkable similarity to ‘Laika’ and ‘Power Out’ from Funeral that it has been jokingly called ‘Neighborhood #5 (Old Flame)’ by some. ‘The Woodland National Anthem’, like so many Arcade Fire songs, has a strong driving beat with wailing lyrics. The line “Don’t you dare blame my parents / I’m the only failed experiment… Don’t blame God / Just blame God” seems like it could be found in Thom Yorke’s personal diary from high school though. The last song, ‘My Heart is An Apple’, is my favorite from the EP. Its reserved arrangement masks its powerful lyrics. As a love song, I would rate it above ‘Crown of Love’ from Funeral.
Arcade Fire – Old Flame
Arcade Fire – The Woodland National Anthem
Arcade Fire – My Heart Is An Apple