Washington, DC – The crowd went wild as Arcade Fire launched without warning into hit single, “Ready To Start.” But almost as unmistakable as the song’s twangy opening guitar lick was the sticker on the upper left corner of frontman Win Butler’s guitar, sporting the logo of Durham-based independent music label, Merge Records.
Montreal’s Arcade Fire have played to sold-out arenas, headlined the largest music festival in the world, and even landed a feature from David Bowie. And Merge Records have been by their side all along, making everything possible… until now.
On July 28, 2017, Columbia Records released Arcade Fire’s fifth full-length album, entitled “Everything Now.” The album was the band’s third straight to debut at no. 1 on the Billboard 200. However, it was their first to be released by a label other than Merge.
Their departure from Merge in early 2017 came as a surprise to many, considering the success they have found in their time working with the label. In 2011, their third album, “The Suburbs,” won Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards, out-competing better-known artists such as Katy Perry, Eminem, and Lady Gaga. In 2014, Arcade Fire was one of three headlining acts at Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, U.K., the largest music festival in the world.
Neither Arcade Fire nor Merge Records have commented on the band’s departure from the label.
Photo courtesy of bestofneworleans.com