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"and it keeps coming, till the day it stops..."
LCD Soundsystem is an NYC-based sort of Dance-Punk band thing that is the project of James Murphy, who plays most, if not all instruments on the records. For the sake of the sanity of this article, the project will be referred to as a band so the word "they" will be used.
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They got their start in 2002 when Murphy released a handful of singles that got decent radio airplay on underground stations. After these successes he got a few musicians to collaborate with him, wrote a Self-Titled Album and LCD Soundsystem was born. Then, in 2007 Sound of Silver was released to critical acclaim, appearing on many year-end and decade-end album charts. Then finally Murphy announced a possible end to the project, with a "final" album titled This Is Happening being released. Once again, the critics drooled and the album found itself on more lists. Their Out with a Bang final concert, which among other extravagances had the highly influential 80's Post-Punk band Liquid Liquid as an opening act and the Arcade Fire singing backup vocals, proved to everyone that James Murphy was actually ending the project (at least, for the foreseeable future).

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Their music is part of the movement in indie music known as "Dance-Punk". However, they are probably one of the bands that come closer to the "dance" side of that subgenre than with the "punk" aspect. Strangely, despite Murphy's vocals lacking the snarl of the other artists in the subgenre, it still works and qualifies.

Murphy writes ninety percent of the music himself but normally brings in "guest" musicians to play everything out during recording. Every now and then he records on his own as well, pulling off an I Am the Band image. He's seen on stage with his fellow colleagues as well as by himself with just his synthesizer, so whether or not those other people are considered "part of the band" still sparks debate between fans.

The band is known for Murphy's distinctive voice as well as the clever wordplay involved in their lyrics ("Drunk girls know that love is an astronaut / It comes back but it's never the same," for example).

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LCD Soundsystem's best-known songs are "All My Friends", "Losing My Edge", "North American Scum", "Drunk Girls", "New York I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down", and "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House".

At the tail end of 2015, LCD Soundsystem suddenly released a Christmas song, "Christmas Will Break Your Heart" to the delighted surprise of the fanbase. Before we knew it, LCD Soundsystem was announced as a headliner for Coachella 2016, with a tour and a new record, American Dream, released in 2017. James Murphy went into more detail in this blog entry.


Studio Albums:

  • LCD Soundsystem (2005)
  • Sound of Silver (2007)
  • This Is Happening (2010)
  • American Dream (2017)

EPs, Live Albums, and Remix Albums

  • Introns (Remix album, 2006)
  • 45:33 EP (2006)
  • A Bunch of Stuff (Remix EP, 2007)
  • Confuse the Marketplace EP (2007)
  • 45:33 Remixes (Remix album, 2009)
  • The London Sessions (Live album, 2010)
  • The Long Goodbye (Live album, 2014)
  • Electric Lady Sessions (Live album, 2019)


These following tropes are losing their edge:

  • Album Title Drop: "Sound of silver, talk to me" in the title track to Sound of Silver.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees:
    • Fact Magazine ("Pow Pow") exists and is not just an ironic figure to state obvious facts.
    • Despite all the outlandish claims in "Losing My Edge", one is actually true: James Murphy really was one of the first New York DJs to play Daft Punk in his sets at rock clubs like CBGBs in the late 1990s.
  • Audience Participation Song: "All My Friends," "Us V Them," "Watch the Tapes," among others.
  • Boléro Effect: Quite often, but notably "North American Scum."
  • Book-Ends:
    • Both "Dance Yrself Clean" and "Home", the first and last songs on This Is Happening, have the same "ah-ahh, ah-ah" vocalization.
    • A much more meta example also comes from "Home", the Grand Finale of This Is Happening and (for a time) the project itself, which deliberately shares the same bassline as "Losing My Edge", the group's first single.
  • Broken Record: Several.
    • "Yeah" has, well "Yeah."
    • "Get Innocuous" has "You can normalize / Don't it make you feel alive?"
    • "Never as Tired as When I'm Waking Up" has "But not with you / I keep on telling myself it's true."
    • "Us v. Them" has "Us and them / Over and over again".
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: The self-titled album, with "Too Much Love" and "Never As Tired As When I'm Waking Up" between a number of high-powered uplifting dance songs.
  • Control Freak: Murphy by all accounts. Luke Jenner of DFA band The Rapture recounted how Murphy would not only make them use specific synthesizers, but also made them go to the same therapist he went to.
  • Cover Version:
    • "Bye Bye Bayou," originally by Alan Vega of Suicide, recorded for Record Store Day.
    • The Harry Nilsson song "Jump Into the Fire" at their final show ever at Madison Square Garden.
  • Dance-Punk: He is pretty much the defining artist of the genre.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Lampshaded in "North American Scum". "New York's the greatest if you get someone to pay your rent."
  • Growing Up Sucks: An often-explored topic, most prominently with tracks like "Losing My Edge" and "All My Friends". A big factor that led to the creation of the band was Murphy's discontent of having "missed" the window to be famous when he was younger (LCD Soundsystem began in his mid-30's, which by most indie rock standards makes him akin to a Cool Old Guy), and as a result, many of his lyrics are often wistful and nostalgic in tone. Ironically, this uniquely mature perspective is part of why the group is so widely celebrated.
  • Hipster: Deconstructed in "Losing My Edge." The singer was an indie DJ back in the 60's and 70's. Now, everything that was underground when he played it is being co-opted by "art-school Brooklynites in little jackets and borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered eighties." By the end, he's in a name-dropping battle rattling off every group in his vinyl collection to prove his relevance.
  • I Am the Band: LCD Soundsystem is effectively "James Murphy, ft. a decent list of regular collaborators". The project may technically involve many people, but Murphy is effectively the mastermind who writes and produces the bulk of everything under its name.
  • Inaction Video:
    • The video for "Drunk Girls" hangs a lampshade on this trope. A low budget was given to a bunch of people to buy whatever costumes and props they wanted in order to use any means necessary to distract and make the band screw up while they were calmly performing, a notable difference from the usual Inaction Video where the band doesn't acknowledge their surroundings.
    • Played straight with "All My Friends", which features Murphy sitting down and singing into the camera as it pans out and gradually reveals more of the band playing around him.
  • It's Always Sunny at Funerals: Mentioned in "Someone Great", a song about dealing with the death of a loved one.
    The worst is all the lovely weather
    I'm stunned it's not raining
  • It Will Never Catch On: "I was there when Captain Beefheart started up his first band. / I told him, 'Don't do it that way. You'll never make a dime.'" in "Losing My Edge".
  • "I Want" Song: "All I Want," of course, which is more specifically about a disappointing relationship which didn't end well. Murphy's "want" in this case is just any reaction from his former lover, even if one of pity.
  • Last Note Nightmare: "Get Innocuous!" is a fairly mellow and danceable song, but ends on some pretty dissonant strings that wouldn't sound out of place in a horror movie.
  • List Song: "Losing My Edge" is this in two ways: For most of the song, it's Murphy — framing himself as a grumpy music veteran who never got the spotlight a younger generation is always receiving — listing off a bunch of (most fake) stories of his life, seemingly as a desperate attempt to be taken seriously. In the song's climax, in a last-ditch grasp at appearing relevant, it ends with him blasting off all his records and music influences at once.
  • Long Title: "Never As Tired As When I'm Waking Up," "New York I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down."
  • Love Nostalgia Song: "All I Want" is about a relationship which has long passed, but Murphy admits to still be self-pityingly stuck on and still needy from, wanting any scraps of reciprocation on before he finally lets go.
  • Lyrical Cold Open: "Watch the Tapes," "New York, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down," "Sound of Silver," "Drunk Girls".
  • Lyric Swap: "I believe in waking up together" becomes "I believe in waiting out the weather" during the last chorus of "Drunk Girls."
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: LCD Soundsystem and American Dream
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: 4 throughout the entire career.
  • New Sound Album: "This Is Happening" comes close, being more elaborate than the previous two albums.
  • Nice Guys Finish Last: Inverted in "Losing My Edge": "I'm losing my edge to better-looking people with better ideas and more talent. And they're actually really, really nice."
  • Non-Appearing Title: "45:33", which isn't mentioned in the composition even once. Heck, it's not even the length of the composition itself, which is 45:58 — "45:33" actually comes from the two most common RPMs for playing back vinyl records).
  • Ode to Intoxication: "Drunk Girls" can be seen as this.
  • The Oner: "All My Friends," "Drunk Girls"
  • Perma-Stubble: James Murphy, likely unintentionally.
  • Precision F-Strike: "If I could fuck you here tonight" from "Never As Tired As When I'm Waking Up," "You don't know shit about where I'm from" and "what's it called? Oh, fuck it" from "Pow Pow," "Who has put up with all of your shit" from "All I Want," "fuck the shuffle, put your shit on repeat" from "Emotional Haircut."
  • Politically Correct: The record label James Murphy owns, Death from Above Records, was changed post-9/11 because it wasn't a good idea for a label based in New York City to be called that. It's now just "DFA Records".
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: During the quickly-delivered Long List of the singer's influences from "Losing My Edge", "Gil! Scott! Heron!" is given this treatment.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "How Do You Sleep?" off American Dream, is this in song form, reportedly directed at Murphy's former production partner Tim Goldsworthy. Also doubles as a Shout-Out to John Lennon's similarly titled diss track aimed at Paul McCartney.
  • Rock-Star Song:
  • "All My Friends" can be interpreted as a bittersweet, nostalgic variant.

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