WE, is the sixth studio album by Arcade Fire, which is be released on May 6, 2022 via Columbia Records. WE’s arrival is preceded by first single “The Lightning I, II,” available now across digital platforms – and as a video directed by Emily Kai Bock.
Produced by Nigel Godrich, Win & Régine, and recorded in multiple locales including New Orleans, El Paso and Mount Desert Island, WE paradoxically distills “the longest we’ve ever spent writing, uninterrupted, probably ever” (per the band’s Win Butler) into a concise 40 minute epic – one as much about the forces that threaten to pull us away from the people we love, as it is inspired by the urgent need to overcome them. WE’s cathartic journey follows a definable arc from darkness into light over the course of seven songs divided into two distinct sides — Side “I” channeling the fear and loneliness of isolation, and Side “WE” expressing the joy and power of reconnection.
On the album’s cover, a photograph of a human eye by the artist JR evokes Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy. This image — embellished by the distinctive airbrush color tinting of Terry Pastor (utilizing the same physical technique he employed on David Bowie’s iconic Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust covers) – is the visual expression of WE.