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Is Arcade Fire Its Own Worst Enemy?


Win Butler and the rest of Arcade Fire rolled out the band’s fifth album, “Everything Now,” with a controversial marketing plan.

Fred Tanneau/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The Popcast is hosted by Jon Caramanica, a pop music critic for The New York Times. It covers the latest in pop music criticism, trends and news.

Arcade Fire arrived more than a decade ago, bringing grandeur and heart into indie rock, and also some arrogance. In the years since, it has become one of the most ambitious bands in pop, and also one of the most scrutinized, particularly as it has moved closer and closer to the dance floor.

“Everything Now,” the band’s fifth album, has been its most divisive one, and its furthest afield. And the album’s rollout has been dizzying, with fake websites and Twitter accounts, ironic bootleg merchandise, needling of the online media hype cycle and much more. It has created a narrative of distraction just as the narrative about the band’s music is already at its muddiest.

To discuss Arcade Fire, the band, and Arcade Fire, the marketing concern, on this week’s Popcast, Mr. Caramanica is joined by Chris DeVille, the senior news editor at Stereogum.

Email your questions, thoughts and ideas about what’s happening in pop music to popcast@nytimes.com.

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