Arcade Fire Arcade Fire

Explaining Montreal’s Arcade Fire is no easy task. Led by Texan expatriate Win Butler and Quebecois Régine Chassagne with anywhere from two to nine other co-conspirators, the Arcade Fire create an expansive orchestral pop with their ambition and talent easily superseding their lo-fi budget — although the consistently red-lined bass guitar is a nice touch. They are that very rare breed of band whose sound may draw upon several recognisable and diverse touchstones, whether intentional or not (Flaming Lips, Björk, Hidden Cameras, Elephant 6), yet it results in an unpredictable and beautiful musical journey "between the click of a light and the start of a dream” that sounds completely unique. Most of the material is fragile, quirky pop, but they also pull out all the stops to write rousing and virtually anthemic numbers like "No Cars Go” and the instant classic "Headlights Look Like Diamonds,” which other Montreal bands have already started covering. Totally inspiring, and it sounds even better live. (Independent)