Arcade Fire is famous for interacting with fans. Earlier this year, the band revealed the name of its forthcoming album, not to Pitchfork or Spin, but to a random fan who asked about it on Twitter. One of the main ways the Grammy-winners mix it up with fans, however, is with interactive music videos–and they’ve just released their first one in years.
Billed as a “visual projection” by Vincent Morisset, who directed some of Arcade Fire’s previous forays into multimedia, “Reflektor” is once again more of an experience than a passive watch. In order to view the video, users need a web browser equipped with Google Chrome. A webcam is optional, but it greatly enhances the video, turning the song’s title literal by reflecting the viewer right back at him- or herself.
Filmed in Haiti, “Reflektor” is about a young woman’s torturous journey, during which she encounters mysterious hooded folks cloaked in points of light and comes down with a serious case of boogie fever. As with any Arcade Fire video in recent years, the story is mere garnish next to the sumptuous meal of interactive effects. In this case, users control an array of visuals with their mouses. In one scene, for instance, the mouse controls an undulating bubble which wipes the current image off the screen anywhere you move it; in another scene, you control the glare of a mirror (which holds your face when you look into it with the webcam version.)
A video is only as good as its song, however, and this one should not disappoint. Indie music fans intrigued by the promise of LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy producing some songs on the new Arcade Fire album will rejoice at this first taste of the new album (which is also called Reflektor). The song retains the eclectic rhythms of the band’s back catalog, only now outfitted with the disco sheen of vintage LCD Soundsystem and its fleet of billowing bongos. It looks like Arcade Fire is as capable of interacting with marquee producers as they are with fans.
Reflektor is out on October 29th; watch the official, non-interactive video supporting its lead single below.