Rococo

Album: The Suburbs (2010)

Songfacts®:

  • This is a track from The Suburbs, the third album by Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire. In this song, the band mocks empty-headed feral, modern kids: "They will eat right out of your hand/Using great big words that they don't understand."
  • Rococo is a style of architecture, decoration and furniture making, which prevailed in King Louis XV's reign in France. It developed as Baroque artists gave up their symmetry and became increasingly more ornate, florid, and playful. So why are the kids in this song singing "Rococo"? Multi-instrumentalist Regine Chassagne explained to The NME July 31, 2010: "Win (Butler, vocals) was strumming the chords on the guitar and I was on the couch and said, 'Hey, those chords sound like baroque music, so the words rococo comes from baroque."
  • Chassagne said: "We recorded it at the church with everyone together in one room, and it spontaneously grew from a small song into something big. At one point the guitars sounded like Nirvana!"
  • This was among the most challenging tracks to record on Suburbs. Inspired by Chassagne's Haitian heritage and the island's brutal French colonial history, it sees feedbacking guitars vying with harpsichord and scraping violins. She told Q magazine with a laugh: "I asked for the strings to sound like mosquitoes attacking Frenchmen wearing fancy clothes in the jungle."

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