Maybe you’ve seen the chatter online or heard tell via your local independent radio station or even seen the many posters that have sprung up around town lately, but it’s no huge secret—the Arcade Fire is back.
They’ve recently announced a new album—out at the end of next month—and just released the album’s title track, “Reflektor”. The biggest news is likely the song itself—the James Murphy (DFA Records/LCD Soundsystem) produced disco feel and upbeat, un-Springsteen style promise new things for a band that, with such notable success already, could easily satisfy the market by sticking to the book they wrote with their most recent commercial hits, The Suburbs + Neon Bible.
Also of note though—one of two videos they created for the song, written, directed, and produced by Vincent Morisset and billed as “an interactive short film.” Vincent, pictured to the right with one of the film’s stars, explains further on the site for the film, writing that it “explores the themes in Arcade Fire’s ‘Reflektor’ through two devices simultaneously: the computer and smartphone/tablet. Filmed in Haiti, where the band’s singer Régine Chassagne was raised, the story follows a young woman who travels between her world an our own.”
The project, created in partnership with Google, is only functional via Google’s Web browser, Chrome (clever), and allows users to interact with the video and how it’s viewed by waving a smart phone or tablet at a computer’s camera, thus enabling control of some of the effects in the video and displaying of ‘secret’ messages. As you can see below, you can also star—along with your cat, if you like—in the video. You can view a full list of the various 2D + 3D Web technologies here.
All of this is pretty crazy town on its own, but those bells + whistles take on a new light with the lyrics to the song itself. Lines like “We’re so connected, but are we even friends?” beg the listener to question our dual lives online…while asking you to get online and wave your phone around in front of your computer.
Cleverer minds than mine own are put to task on this subkject over at The Atlantic. But, regardless of what we should or should not break free from (you’re still reading this in front of your computer, right?), do yourself a favor and check the video out. If nothing else, it’s very, very cool.
Oh, there’s a second video for the song too that’s black + white and features the band in bobble heads. In case you’re feeling particularly low-tech today or just hankering to see a mandatory 30 second Clearasil® commercial beforehand.