24 hours in the (new) life of LCD Soundsystem
- Tristan Burke
- 6 January 2016
LCD Soundsystem is back with new gigs and music, but does its return sully a perfect swansong?
This is happening: LCD Soundsystem is officially back in business. Arriving back on the scene even louder than they left it five years ago at Madison Square Garden, the New York electro-disco-rock outfit will headline California’s Coachella Festival in April, following months of speculation.
To many it’s the news they’ve been hoping for. To others, it’s a sell-out, surely the result of a cash offer too good to refuse. In between stand those to whom it’s all too bittersweet; the fervent fans who shed tears, donned panda costumes and invested themselves completely in the perfect send-off, 2011’s ‘Long Goodbye’ of a band and frontman seemingly at peace with dropping the mic at the peak of their powers.
James Murphy, perhaps naively he now admits, didn’t quite anticipate all sides of the reunion reaction. So in the early NY hours, with the ‘where’ of LCD Soundsystem’s return now established, its creative engine published an open letter on the band’s official site and Facebook page to clarify the ‘why’. Rambling, rough around the edges and really rather beautiful, the facts of this earnest confessional were simple: Murphy was brimming with ideas for new music, and making it with his old bandmates felt like the natural option. They agreed, and the band was reborn. A fitting plot-twist for a man who famously sang about five years spent chasing time with friends again. LCD Soundsystem will release a new album sometime this year, and they’re playing all over, not just Coachella.
The letter’s sentiment was more complex: happiness, sadness, relief and trepidation. Wrapping a heartfelt acknowledgment that the lovers, the haters and the conflicted have every right to feel exactly as they do. James Murphy’s apology to those who feel somehow betrayed sounds sincere, but whether you ultimately buy his motives is up to you. To him, the chance to make it right now lies in LCD Soundsystem finishing a record that’s 'better than anything we’ve done before' and to 'play better than we’ve ever played.'
If you’re among those who can’t wait, you’ll probably spend the next few months with your eyes on Coachella, or hoping LCD announces it’s coming to a stage near you. If you don’t much care, you might keep half an ear open purely out of curiosity. And if you care too much, but are still a little dirty about the news, that’s fine too. Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to dance yourself clean.