Arcade Fire has covered Harry Styles’ mega-hit As It Was during a performance session at BBC’s Maida Vale Studios and fans of both acts are loving the new rendition which has been posted on YouTube today.
As well as covering the Styles single for BBC Radio 2, Arcade Fire had a more comprehensive session with 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq — and a 36-minute recording of the performance can be found on BBC iPlayer. In the 6 Music Maida Vale session the band covered five tracks from their new album WE.
Arcade Fire released WE — their sixth studio album — on May 6 via Columbia Records. The album, whose title was inspired by Yevgeny Zamyatin’s dystopian novel of the same name, features guest appearances from Peter Gabriel and Father John Misty and covers topics including loneliness, isolation and reconnection.
Speaking to NME, frontman Win Butler said creating the album was “the longest we’ve ever spent writing, uninterrupted, probably ever”. The band described WE as a “concise 40-minute epic” in a statement.
Since dropping the album, Arcade Fire has been busy: performing at SNL over the weekend and releasing a music video for the new track Unconditional I (Lookout Kid) on Monday. Their worldwide album tour begins in Canada at the end of July and includes dates with Beck and Feist. It will be the first time that the Canadian band have toured since 2018.
Arcade Fire’s live session is the latest in the long line of musicians covering other artists’ massive tracks for the BBC. Over the years BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge series has brought us some real bobby-dazzlers, including Dave’s cover of Lana Del Rey’s song Born To Die, the Gorillaz take on The XX song Crystalised and the Arctic Monkeys cover of Drake’s Hold On We’re Going Home. Harry Styles also covered Lizzo’s Juice in 2019.
Harry Style’s track As It Was came out on April 1 and shot straight to number one. It became the fastest track to hit 300 million streams on Spotify —a feat it achieved in just 28 days. The music video, which also premiered on April 1, has already garnered 115 million views and is currently the number six global top music video.
As It Was is from Style’s upcoming third studio album Harry’s House, which is set to be released on May 20. It will be the first album from the Worcestershire-born singer in nearly two and a half years.