LCD Soundsystem – ‘New Body Rhumba’ single review: an instant dance-rock classic


Hipsters and music snobs rejoice! LCD Soundsystem have returned with their first new material since 2017’s American Dream - and it’s well worth the wait.

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New Body Rhumba is a standalone single, written for Noah Baumbach’s new film White Noise, and is a welcome continuation of LCD Soundsystem’s trademark dance-rock maximalism. Due to the band splitting up in 2009 – and then sheepishly reforming just five years later – they had to prove themselves somewhat with their last release, 2017’s comeback album American Dream. Unsurprisingly, they did – however, it marked a slight departure from their typical irreverent disco-punk vibe and incorporated sparser textures, discordant Robert Fripp-style guitar-wizardry and generally a darker, more atmospheric sound than we’d come to expect from the band.

But forget all that, because they’ve gone old school with this one. LCD Soundsystem have returned to the dance floor. In ‘New Body Rhumba’, all the hallmarks of an LCD classic are present and correct: chugging basslines, scuzzy guitars, James Murphy’s spluttering falsetto and, yes, cowbellit could easily have been tucked away on their 2005 debut. In regards to lyrics, Murphy is typically oblique, preferring to sing in soundbites and non-sequiturs as opposed to anything …well… lyrical, but that’s why we love him. Just be grateful he’s not doing that weird Bryan Ferry impression anymore. There are the usual echoes of New Order, the Fall, Kraftwerk and a slight touch of the Gary Numans in ‘New Body Rhumba’, though most significantly, its thundering, drawn-out climax sounds almost identical to Television’s Marquee Moon, giving the second half of the song a hefty sense of catharsis.

I love this song. However, because it doesn’t exactly break new ground, I imagine its critics may suggest that it’s simply LCD-by-numbers. But they’ve forgotten just how good those numbers are. New Body Rhumba is stone-cold pop perfection of the kind that only LCD Soundsystem can muster.

New Body Rhumba is out now via Columbia Records, check it out here:



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