Its been six long years since their last album, but a comeback is imminent
LCD Soundsystem are no strangers to performing at Electric Picnic, having previously appeared in the Stradbally festival in 2005, 2007 and 2010. But their presence on the line-up this year marks a new kind of excitement, because it means that they are very much making that longed-for comeback.
For a group with only three albums to their name, they've made a bigger and more lasting impression on modern music than just about any other dance-act you can think of right now, which makes the six-year silence since 2010's This Is Happening all the more difficult to bare.
James Murphy and co. exploded on to the scene initially in July 2002 with their first single 'Losing My Edge', and while a slew of popular-in-an-underground-kind-of-way follow-up singles helped to compound their image as the Hot New Thing ('Give It Up', 'Yeah', 'Movement'), it wasn't until 'Daft Punk Is Playing At My House' arrived in February 2015, just a few weeks after the self-titled debut album was released, that the entire world sat up and began paying attention.
The song was nominated for a Grammy, and it catapulted LCD Soundsystem into the stratosphere, which, five years later, eventually became the group's undoing.
It's somewhat of an oxymoron; being very good at something, but not really wanting the attention that goes hand in hand with that talent. 2007's Sound Of Silver continued the trend, which was also nominated for a Grammy, was named best album of the year by The Guardian, Uncut and Drowned In Sound, with one of the tracks placed on the Grand Theft Auto IV soundtrack (further skyrocketing the group's presence), and resulting in four hit singles, one of which was voted by Pitchfork Media as the second best song of the '00s.
Two years prior to the release of This Is Happening, there was already talk of LCD Soundsystem disbanding, when Hot Chip's Al Doyle, who also plays guitar for LCD, said in an interview that the group was "on permanent hold".
Both Doyle and LCD frontman James Murphy countered this claim eventually, and 2010's release of the group's last album (to date) was paired with this statement Murphy gave to Rolling Stone: "I feel like this should be the last record because a lot of people make three good records and then they don't make good records anymore. [...] And if we get any bigger than we are, I would lose some interest. I feel like I made a band that was about how I felt about music, as an argument, and I feel like I've kind of explained myself and it's time to do something else."
Six months later, they released London Sessions, a live in-studio album recording of a collection of their biggest hits, and in February 2011, there was an official announcement of their disbandment. They performed their final gig in Madison Square Garden in April 2011, with the 48-hours of the day of and the day after the show recorded for massively popular documentary Shut Up And Play The Hits, which was released in cinemas and on DVD in 2012.
Almost three years later, a near-complete audio recording of this performance was released for the three hour live-album The Long Goodbye: LCD Soundsystem Live at Madison Square Garden. In the years that followed, there had been constant rumours of a reunion, with Pitchfork, Consequences Of Sound and Billboard all citing sources of 2016 tour of festivals, which were all refuted by the group's record label.
Then on Christmas Eve 2015, they released their first new single in almost four years, once again fuelling suspicion that the group was on the verge of a massive reunion.
In January of this year, the band's return was confirmed, as they were announced as one of the headliners for the 2016 Coachella Festival. They soon added Lollapooloza and Austin City Limits (and, of course, Electric Picnic) to that ever-growing list of festivals they'd be performing at this year, and just last week it was reported by Consequence Of Sound that they had cancelled several gigs in Asia and Australia in order to focus on finishing their upcoming album.
Thankfully their Stradbally appearance doesn't seem to be affected by their work load, and with any luck we might even get to hear some of their new material when they take to the Main Stage just after midnight on Saturday night into the early hours of Sunday morning.