Arcade Fire formed during the summer of 2003, after Win Butler spotted Régine Chassagne singing jazz standards at a Montreal art exhibit. The grandson of famed swing-era bandleader Alvino Rey, Win was quickly charmed by Chassagne’s performance, leading the two to launch a songwriting partnership. Romance followed shortly thereafter, and the duo expanded its sound by gathering Richard Reed Parry on organ, Tim Kingsbury on bass, and Win Butler’s younger brother William on synthesizer and percussion.
Drawing from the bandmates’ varied influences, Arcade Fire began mining an eclectic mix of bossa nova, punk, French chanson, and classically tinged pop music.
The band released their debut album Funeral on Merge in 2004 and has become one of the most critically acclaimed bands in the world, winning a host of awards including prestigious accolades such as a GRAMMY for Album of the Year, the Polaris Prize, and BRIT Awards for both Best International Album and Group, among other honors and nominations.