Sprawl I (Flatland)

Album: The Suburbs (2010)

Songfacts®:

  • On this minor key piano lamenting change and modernization, frontman Win Butler revisits the town where he grow up. "I took a drive into the sprawl to find the house where we used to stay in," he recalls. However, Butler fails to locate various childhood haunts that are imprinted on his memory.
  • Arcade Fire's brothers Win and William Butler spent their formative years in The Woodlands, a suburb of Houston, Texas. In preparing to write The Suburbs, Win and his wife and band colleague Chassagne travelled to The Woodlands in the summer of 2008. "It was kind of a bummer," Chassagne told Q magazine April 2012. "It was interesting to see that the people make the places, and when the people are gone, the places are still there but they're not yours."

    Driving around The Woodlands at night, the couple were pulled over by the local police for, "suspicious activity." The incident is detailed on this track. "It was a really strange experience, even before the cop incident," Butler told Q. "My parents moved away seven years ago. I no longer knew anyone there. I was like being a tourist, a strange mix of knowing exactly where I was and also feeling completely alien… A lot of the songs on The Suburbs are very much myself now looking back at that time, but also trying to put the pieces together, to reconnect with those feelings and those emotions before they're gone completely."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Janet JacksonFact or Fiction

Was Janet secretly married at 18? Did she gain 60 pounds for a movie role that went to Mariah Carey? See what you know about Ms. Jackson.

Little RichardFact or Fiction

Was Long Tall Sally a cross-dresser? Did he really set his piano on fire? See if you know the real stories about one of rock's greatest innovators.

The Untold Story Of Fiona Apple's Extraordinary MachineSong Writing

Fiona's highly-anticipated third album almost didn't make it. Here's how it finally came together after two years and a leak.

What Musicians Are Related to Other Musicians?Song Writing

A big list of musical marriages and family relations ranging from the simple to the truly dysfunctional.

Tom Keifer of CinderellaSongwriter Interviews

Tom talks about the evolution of Cinderella's songs through their first three albums, and how he writes as a solo artist.

Tim Butler of The Psychedelic FursSongwriter Interviews

Tim and his brother Richard are the Furs' foundation; Tim explains how they write and tells the story of "Pretty In Pink."