Arcade Fire’s next album The Suburbs will be released on the 2nd of August in the UK, and the 3rd in US and Canada.  Brothers Will and Win Butler introduced two of the songs on NPR this morning: “Month of May” and the title track “The Suburbs.”  Will described them as representing “two of four poles” on the album.

“The Suburbs” starts off as  a folksy shuffle with a prominent honky tonk piano track, while “Month of May” is guitar-driven rocker, slightly reminiscent of Neil Young’s “Rockin in the Free World.”  Will mentioned “more electronic stuff” as the third pole, while pole no. 4 was lost in conversation.

Overall, the new album is described as less layered and more upbeat than their first two.  Of course, being more upbeat than Funeral is kind of like being chubbier than Calista Flockhart.  Although Funeral was released to critical acclaim in 2004,  mainstream popularity arrived last year when Spike Jonze used  a re-recorded version of “Wake Up” in a trailer for Where the Wild Things Are.

The album is available for pre-order from the Arcade Fire site in several flavors including digital, vinyl, and CD.  All versions include premium digital tracks in 320 kbps MP3, FLAC or Apple Lossless.  And pre-orders get an instant download of “Month of May” and “The Suburbs.”

Your free mp3 is a full Arcade Fire concert from 2007 courtesy of NPR.  As explained at the beginning of the recording, the show opens with “Wake Up”, which they take off-stage, off mic, and out of tune.  Things get better once they find their way back to the stage.