Arcade Fire is an indie rock band based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and fronted by the husband and wife duo of Win Butler and Régine Chassagne. In addition to instrument mainstays guitar, drums and bass guitar, members play piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass, xylophone, glockenspiel, keyboard, French horn, accordion, harp, mandolin and hurdy-gurdy.
The band takes most of their instruments on tour, and the multi-instrumentalist band members switch instrumental duties throughout their shows.
"Funeral," their debut album was released on September 14, 2004 in North America by Merge Records and on February 28, 2005 in Europe by Rough Trade Records. It was given its title because several band members had recently lost members of their families: Régine Chassagne's grandmother died in June 2003, Win and William Butler's grandfather (swing musician Alvino Rey) in March 2004, and Richard Reed Parry's aunt in April 2004. The album produced five singles. The most successful, "Rebellion (Lies)", peaked at #19 on the UK Singles Chart. The album was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2005 for Best Alternative Music Album. The single "Cold Wind" was nominated for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.
“Neon Bible,” their second album, was released in March 2007 on Merge Records. The majority of the album was recorded in a church that the band bought and renovated. “Neon Bible” became Arcade Fire's highest charting album at the time, debuting on the Billboard 200 at number two, selling 92,000 copies in its first week and more than 400,000 to date.
"Neon Bible" was nominated for Best Alternative Album for the 50th Annual Grammy Awards. The album won the 2008 Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year.
"The Suburbs," their third studio album, was released on August 2, 2010 in the United Kingdom and August 3, 2010 in North America. The album debuted at #1 on the Irish Albums Chart on August 5, the UK Albums Chart on August 8, the U.S. Billboard 200 chart on August 11, and the Canadian Albums Chart on August 11, 2010. The band won its first Grammy Award for Album of the Year at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards in February 2011.