Arcade Fire’s Will Butler has lived up to his pledge to write a new song every day based on some news event that transpired on that particular day. Yesterday’s song is as spacey and nearly as dismal as the subject matter that he’s writing about in “Madonna Can’t Save Me Now.”
Will Butler of Arcade Fire fame has been hard at work undertaking his latest creative endeavor: writing one song a day based on stories featured in The Guardian newspaper. He’s paced himself quite well at this particular point, penning songs on such topics as the Greek debt crisis. On “Madonna Can’t Save Me Now,” Butler channels the feeling he got after reading about a black hole that is twelve billion times larger than our solar system’s sun. Reading such news would perhaps normally cause someone to contemplate their own mortality, and channeling that contemplation could lead into the creation of a song that is at once depressing and also thought-provoking. Butler’s “Madonna Can’t Save Me Now” takes all of the approach of the latter without becoming overly saturated by the former. The direction he song goes in has to do more with the meaninglessness of humanity’s endeavors. As he told Under The Radar:
I’m not terrified were going to get sucked into a black hole. I’m terrified that all of human art is only 50,000 years old and that nothing anything any of us do will ever matter. jk lol Bwahahahhahahahhaha. Madonna can’t save us now.”
Lyrically, “Madonna Can’t Save Me Now” pins down that idea in such a way that it kind of surprises the listener. It’s not meant to encourage humanity to live life as though one may die at any moment, but rather asks of the listener what it all means. Why, after all, does our day to day grind matter in the grand scheme of things when it will all be forgotten at some distant point in the future? Is there really anything valid about accomplishment if it all gets washed away? Butler doesn’t appear to think so in this song, as it doesn’t matter what we do today because disaster will inevitably follow tomorrow. Perhaps we’re not meant to really look that closely at the issue, as the instrumentation present in the song takes us on a spacey trip through the cosmos. It’s as though we’re literally traveling to that black hole as Butler misanthropically reminds us that it all means nothing.
This newest feat of Butler’s comes along after a string of successes pertaining to music and other endeavors. Butler recently got nominated at the Academy Awards for his musical contributions to the movie Her.