First things first, the album "Funeral" is fantastic. Although not quite on a par with "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" and not as instantaneous, one suspects that The Arcade Fire will feature prominently at the end of year polls.
This is a slightly odd choice for a single which might well have those new to the group wondering what the hype was for. "Cold Wind" is a quiet, ruminative track which requires several listens in order fully to appreciate its strengths. There is none of the melodrama of "Funeral" - it is perhaps closest to the first few minutes of "Crown of Love", ie before the change in tempo, but even that song has more of an arresting presence. Win Butler's voice is also less histrionic (that word not being critical at all) than on the album. However, once the surprise has passed, the qualities of the song are considerable.
The b-side "Brazil" is a cover of a 65 year old song and is excellent, managing to create a new sound out of familiar material, while being more reminiscent of "Funeral". While purchasing limited edition 7 inch singles is strongly to be encouraged, the message is buy "Funeral" first and then this if money allows.