For weeks now, Arcade Fire have been churning out weird, troll-y meta commentary about media and marketing as a way to promote their upcoming album Everything Now. They didn’t half-ass it, either: They took their new Columbia Records budget and made sugar cereal, and USB fidget spinners, and parody versions of the Kendall and Kylie Jenner t-shirts, until the absurdity began to flatten into the wider internet’s maniacal jumble of content.
Their latest gag is pretty good, though it’s probably funnier if you are (ahem) also a music writer. “Stereoyum” is a well-observed parody of SPIN’s sister site Stereogum, and it exists to bring us one piece of content in particular: The “Premature Premature Evaluation” of Everything Now. Arcade Fire’s advance review of their own album, some of which they (pretend to) have not yet heard, is decidedly mixed.
It’s likely, though, that we’ll compare Everything Now unfavorably to both Funeral and The Suburbs, while calling it a bounceback after Reflektor. We’ll probably spend at least a paragraph talking about the marketing campaign that has accompanied Everything Now—the logos, the corporate-speak, the Twitter account—saying that we get the joke, and maybe even noting that music sites and features like Premature Evaluation (and the new Premature Premature Evaluation) are all part of the same culture-marketing ecosystem.
Then we’ll get to the songs. At this point we’re just guessing, but since the songs we’ve already heard are three dancey ones (“Everything Now,” “Signs of Life,” and “Electric Blue”—all of which we’ll compare favorably but slightly dismissively to LCD Soundsystem) and one slightly electro-goth, we’ll assume that at least two that remain are ballads, in some sense of the word. Based on the song titles, we’ll guess that “Peter Pan” is going to be on the sweeter, more introspective side, though perhaps with a dark edge, while “Good God Damn” is probably a guitar-based rocker, because it’s got “Damn” in the title. We’re in uncharted territory here, so bear with us!
“Stereoyum” comes complete with a B-roll of Arcade Fire-themed headlines, such as, “With Signs of Life, the party finds you” and, “New streaming service launches, promises ‘infinite content.'”
Is this an official @yumbrands offshoot? https://t.co/8qTx7BoyOt
— win butler (@DJWindows98) July 21, 2017
Click around Stereoyum long enough, and you’ll find Arcade Fire have also mocked up a fake Billboard news story, “Arcade Fire files multiple legal claims over ‘Millennial Whoop,'” in which they claim that “wa-oh-wa-oh” is their intellectual property. Bonus headlines include “Ex-Arcade Fire member claims Win Butler ‘sacked 400 bandmates via email'” and “Death Valley real estate prices heating up, rock band deny gentrification claims.”
Thank you, Arcade Fire, for the content. Everything Now is out July 28; read the band’s full mock review of their own album here.