According to Billboard, James Murphy's time working with Arcade Fire on their new album has been "way better than expected." Arcade Fire have been recording their fourth studio album, the follow up to the Grammy award winning The Suburbs, since late 2012 in both Montreal and the DFA Records studio in New York. James Murphy produced the still untitled album, and said in a phone interview from the Manchester International Festival that "it's been the food I eat and the air I breathe for a long time now." Though he has "officially" completed his work on the album, he and the members of Arcade Fire have "just been passing things back and forth making choices on mixes."
James Murphy praises the band for their skill and is also pleased with his experience working with them. He continues:
Producing is always really hard, and you can never tell who's going to be easy to get along with and who's going to be difficult. So I wasn't sure what was going to be the case, since there's a lot of them. I figured, they're all super talented, do they need another dude there with his opinions? It turned out it was really nice, and everyone was amazingly respectful of one another.
Although previous articles suggest that the new music is "epic" and should have a more dance-oriented sound, James Murphy is still unable to reveal the direction of the album or whether it will be a concept album like the band's previous release. Rather, he "dealt with the holistic record in a non-verbal way." He elaborates:
We don’t talk about where the songs come from unless somebody says, 'What I’m going for is more this…' That’s all I got into. I’m not trying to conduct an opera, or a rock opera — a 'ropera” in this case.
Arcade Fire's new album is due out October 29th.