The song is technically a partnership between the Canadian indie-rock legends and the mindfulness company, whose popular app features all sorts of sounds for relaxation and/or concentration. In a post on the band’s Instagram page that reads like ad copy, the band describe the composition as “meditative vibes to help you focus and feel inspired.”
From the short audio clip they attached with the message, it does sound like an apt description. Similar to their lauded Her soundtrack with Owen Pallett, which finally hit streaming services last month, “Memories of the Age of Anxiety” sounds like soothing yet propulsive ambient music. It doesn’t sound like typical Arcade Fire, but from what people who’ve heard it are saying on this Reddit thread, it seems like it has some of their signature sonic character.
Arcade Fire also tagged John Legend in that Instagram post, implying he was somehow involved, but it’s unclear whether he played on the track or if he just facilitated the partnership with Headspace (he’s listed as the company’s Chief Music Officer on their website). Sign up for Headspace to hear it now, or wait until someone uploads it to YouTube — err, the band officially releases it on streaming services. Whenever that happens.
Hopefully this isn’t the only new Arcade Fire material that trickles out this year. Back in October, Butler revealed that the band had written “two or three” albums worth of material throughout quarantine, and that’s in addition to the Everything Now follow-up that they already finished before the pandemic began. Our fingers are crossed.