Record arrives at indie record stores on Friday in advance of the official Monday release….
By Fred Mills
Starting Friday afternoon, independent retailers began receiving their shipments of forthcoming new releases from Universal – including the new Arcade Fire 12”, “Reflektor,” which though bearing the Merge Records label logo is being distributed via the major label. As word trickled out – stores were obliged to NOT break street date and sell it prematurely, but that didn’t stop some of them from tweeting and posting images of the sleeve art – media outlets from Spin and NME to Pitchfork and Stereogum began working themselves into a lather.
Which, no doubt, was the entire point of the stealth advance marketing campaign the band has been smartly waging for the upcoming James Murphy-produced Reflektor album, which drops Oct. 29. Adding fuel to the tizzy: a rumored guest vocal by David Bowie on the single.
What was interesting was that as retailers unpacked the records, nothing about their sleeves suggested that it was in fact Arcade Fire since both the sleeve itself and the spine lists the artist as “The Reflektors”; only on the actual packing slip or invoice do the words “Arcade Fire” appear. (That said, the previously-circulated logo containing the letters “REFLEKTOR” is visible on the sleeve.) And some may have thought that they’d accidentally received a full-length album, since the back sleeve lists a side 1 and 2 containing 14 “songtitles.” Only upon actually opening a record does it become clear that it’s just a 2-track single. (Yes, I have seen copies of the record; photos here are taken from the web, however.)
Incidentally, a few sites managed to post the single’s “A” side as a “leak”, including the NME, although by now some of the sites have removed the tune. It’s a terrific slice of dubby disco, and the B-side, an extended instrumental version of the same track, is equally good. Expect the record to sell like gangbusters this week….