Between albums: We won't be right back after this break

Arcade Fire took three years between albums – and they're not the worst culprits. Fans can forget you, warns Elisa Bray

We have waited three years for Arcade Fire's third album, The Suburbs. With a gigging absence of almost the same length, that's sufficient time to push a band clearly out of their fans' consciousness. Fortunately, when it comes to a release by one of the finest and most consistent bands of our time, the time the album takes to arrive is of little matter. But for a less established band, and especially one releasing the follow-up album to their debut, a three-year wait is one year too long.

The second album is a known hurdle for bands aiming for the long haul – and why would a band make it even more difficult for themselves by leaving such a lag after their debut, losing fans along the way? It seems bands risk being forgotten.

Take Klaxons. Having burst on to the scene in 2007, winning the Mercury Prize with their No 2-charting nu-rave debut, Myths of the Near Future, there hasn't been so much as a single release ever since. And with that has slowly withered away much of that initial hype. Now that they are returning, finally, with the follow-up, Surfing the Void, later this month, there seems to be very little fanfare at all.

If we look at some of the most-hyped acts of the past decade, when Franz Ferdinand's self-titled album won them the Mercury in 2004, they returned the following year with You Could Have It So Much Better, which gained them a chart-topping success. The momentum kept them fresh. But are acts leaving the follow-up too long?

Perhaps unfairly, such hype puts more pressure on a band to deliver a follow-up that lives up to the first. Glasvegas were hailed by the Creation record label boss, Alan McGee, as "the most exciting thing I've heard since the Jesus and Mary Chain", splashed on the cover of NME as "the best new band in Britain", and went to No 2 with their self-titled debut album in 2008, and yet have hardly been heard of since. And is anybody else wondering what happened to Adele, or Duffy?

Two and a half years ago, Adele was the leading light of the solo female singer-songwriters, boasting a Mercury nomination as well as the Brits Critics' Choice award and topping the BBC's Sound of 2008 poll. Duffy also featured. Meanwhile, both those singers' positions have since been filled by countless newcomers such as Florence and the Machine, Ellie Goulding and Marina and the Diamonds.

It is a possible feat to release albums in quick succession – after all, the Beatles released their first six albums in three years, while the Smiths' four studio albums arrived in consecutive years from 1984. It suggests that with such pressure, acts are struggling to deliver songs that match the quality of their early hits – but is it the bands' creative output and perfection to blame, or the record labels' fault? Perhaps labels are taking fewer risks with their releases. Klaxons might have released their album sooner had it not been for their label rejecting their first attempt at a second album, deeming their new direction as potential career suicide and packing them off to write new songs with a new producer. Anyone would agree that it is preferable to wait for an album of quality rather than one that is rushed out to capitalise on the success of an act's debut.

The process for a band's second album will be a different story to the first, as on the back of previous good sales the label might be prepared to invest more, and so take longer to develop the music and arrange a decent publicity campaign, leaving longer until the finished product hits the shelf. But the disappearing act will do bands no favours – unless, like Arcade Fire, they have continued to be championed despite the lack of new material, and know their fan-base is still strong. Best to keep it ticking over with an EP of new material, or at least a tour, in the meantime.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne as transgender artist Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl

First look at Oscar winner as transgender artistfilm
Arts and Entertainment

Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Lloyd-Hughes takes the leading role as Ralph Whelan in Channel 4's epic new 10-part drama, Indian Summers

TV Review

The intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz star in Sex Tape

Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscars ceremony 2015 will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
Oscars 2015A quiz to whet your appetite for tonight’s 87th Academy Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Sigourney Weaver, as Ripley, in Alien; critics have branded the naming of action movie network Movies4Men as “offensive” and “demographic box-ticking gone mad”.
TVNaming of action movie network Movies4Men sparks outrage
Arts and Entertainment
Sleater Kinney perform at the 6 Music Festival at the O2 Academy, Newcastle
musicReview: 6 Music Festival
Arts and Entertainment
Sleater Kinney perform at the 6 Music Festival at the O2 Academy, Newcastle
musicReview: 6 Music Festival
Kristen Stewart reacts after receiving the Best Actress in a Supporting Role award for her role in 'Sils Maria' at the 40th annual Cesar awards
A lost Sherlock Holmes story has been unearthed
arts + ents Walter Elliot, an 80-year-old historian, found it in his attic,
Arts and Entertainment
Margot Robbie rose to fame starring alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street

Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days

Arts and Entertainment
Right note: Sam Haywood with Simon Usborne page turning
musicSimon Usborne discovers it is under threat from the accursed iPad
Arts and Entertainment
A life-size sculpture by Nick Reynolds depicting singer Pete Doherty on a crucifix hangs in St Marylebone church
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Escalating tension: Tang Wei and Chris Hemsworth in ‘Blackhat’
filmReview: Chris Hemsworth stars as a convicted hacker in Blackhat
Arts and Entertainment

Oscar voter speaks out

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscars race for Best Picture will be the battle between Boyhood and Birdman

Arts and Entertainment
Anne Boleyn (Claire Foy), Thomas Cromwell (Mark Rylance)
tvReview: Wolf Hall
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Meighan of Kasabian collects the Best Album Award
Arts and Entertainment
Best supporting stylist: the late L’Wren Scott dressed Nicole Kidman in 1997
Arts and Entertainment
Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey


Arts and Entertainment
Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) and Peggy Mitchell (Barbara Windsor)
tv occurred in the crucial final scene
Arts and Entertainment
Glasgow wanted to demolish its Red Road flats last year
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower