It’s been seven long years since LCD Soundsystem released their seminal third album This Is Happening; during that time, the band has only put out a few live records to satiate fans’ hunger. But new work is finally in sight: LCD recently announced that their next album, American Dream, will come out September 1 via Columbia and frontman James Murphy’s DFA Records.
Murphy hasn’t yet done much press for the new release, but given how much time has passed since LCD’s last album, not to mention the band’s rabid fan base, anticipation is already extremely high, and even the smallest details are enough to get excited about. Though more information about the 10-track album will surely trickle out once the band hits the road on tour this summer, here’s everything we know so far.
American Dream isn’t as political as its title may imply
In May, LCD released a “double A-side” of American Dream’s title track, “American Dream,” and another song titled “Call the Police.” While those titles seem to imply a certain level of indignation about the current political landscape in the US, the two tracks are more subtle and impressionistic than outright protest fuel.
Murphy has always had a knack for making deeply personal heartfelt tunes that just so happen to be stadium-sized in their sonic scope, and that certainly seems to be the case with these two early releases.
“Oh, the revolution was here / That would set you free from those bourgeoisie,” he sings on the languid and hypnotic “American Dream,” which deals more with disillusionment over aging than anything explicitly Trumpian. “Find the place where you can be boring / Where you won't need to explain,” he advises later. The song is a somber and meditative reflection on what it feels like to age and gain a clearer understanding of one’s faults and flaws.
“Call the Police” is up-tempo and rebellious by comparison, with sweeping Americana guitars and driving drums that recall bands like The War on Drugs or The Suburbs-era Arcade Fire. It again broaches the topic of finding your place in society as your odometer ticks upwards, but there seems to be more political outrage here than on “American Dream.”
“The old guys are frightened and frightening to behold / The kids come out fighting and still doing what they're told,” sings Murphy, effectively offering a jaded sigh that lays blame both on those clinging to power and those not doing enough to bring about change.
He echoes that statement with a particularly impassioned verse later in the track:
Well, there's a full-blown rebellion but you're easy to confuse
By triggered kids and fakers and some questionable views
Oh, call the cops, call the preachers!
Before they let us and they lose
When oh, we all start arguing the history of the Jews
You got nothing left to lose
Though the other eight tracks could craft a different narrative, American Dream seems to be as much about the ills of our society as it is about finding a way to live within them.
American Dream will be the final album recorded at the original DFA Records building
The townhouse in New York City’s West Village that houses both DFA Records and its basement studio, Plantain Recording House, has been on sale since May 2016. All three previous LCD Soundsystem albums were recorded there in whole or in part, and Murphy has operated the space for nearly 20 years. (In addition to LCD, bands such as Hot Chip and Holy Ghost! have recorded in the space.)
This means that if simply buying a copy of American Dream isn’t enough for you, the space where it was made could also be yours for a mere $16 million.
LCD is coming soon to a massive music venue near you
If you live in or near a major American or European city, there’s a very good chance that LCD Soundsystem is playing at your house — or, more accurately, somewhere near it.
The band is set to embark on a gargantuan tour in September after finishing up a run of dates at the newly opened Brooklyn Steel in New York. In the meantime, they’re also hitting summer festivals all over the world, from Chicago (Pitchfork Music Festival) to Yuzawa, Japan (Fuji Rock Festival).
They finish up their 2017 road schedule with their third residency of the year at Brooklyn Steel, a new venue from East Coast concert-promotion giant The Bowery Presents. Their first run of shows at Brooklyn Steel in April, as well as the second run in late June, sold out extremely quickly, prompting Murphy to write on Facebook that fans should not be paying absurd prices to see the band live since they’re “going to be playing a lot in the near future…”
hi there again… i really just wanted to say something about these new shows in brooklyn. last time we played...Posted by LCD Soundsystem on Monday, June 12, 2017
Still, if you want to get a taste of the rest of American Dream before the fall, you might want to shell out for a ticket because...
The band has been premiering forthcoming new material on tour
During their recent shows, LCD has not only played “American Dream” and “Call the Police” but three more new cuts off their upcoming new album: “Change Yr Mind,” “Tonite,” and “Emotional Haircut.” According to Stereogum’s Ryan Leas, who attended one of the band’s Brooklyn shows, “Change Yr Mind” and “Tonite” are vintage LCD, mixing hypnotic electronic backdrops with fragmented blips of guitar, while the latter “finds LCD going much further in the post-punk direction than ever before.”
And with plenty of shows coming before the album’s September release, we expect Murphy and co. to debut at least a few other tracks from American Dream.
Based on all the info we have, LCD’s upcoming album figures to be an expansion of their frenetic, electronica-meets-garage-rock sound while dealing with Murphy’s aging and (subtly) addressing our chaotic political landscape. In short, it’s poised to be a much-needed dose of meticulously crafted, emotionally satisfying escapism with a few more sobering insights mixed in.