Arcade Fire, the Grammy-winning Canadian rock band, has been acting very mysteriously. What is going to happen at 9 pm on Monday, September 9?!?! A banner proclaiming the date was recently dropped from a building in Manhattan, and then, earlier this week, a 'Reflektor 9/9/9' video trailer was released on the band's website.
Well, as we predicted, on Monday, at 9 pm, Arcade Fire is planning to release a video for 'Reflektor,' the first single from the band's new album, due October 29 through Merge. The new video is by Anton Corbijn, the director of the Ian Curtis (Joy Division) biopic 'Control' and videos by Coldplay, Depeche Mode, Nirvana and U2.
Judging from the band's previous videos, it is safe to guess that the new video will probably either include images of Arcade Fire members wandering around a random neighborhood [see 'Rebellion (Lies)'], or it will be interactive (see 'Neon Bible' and 'We Used To Wait'), or it will be animated [see 'Neighorhood #3 (Power Out)']. Maybe it will be all three! Or maybe Corbijn will throw us a curveball! We will find out soon.
In the meantime, here are Arcade Fire's five best music videos.
5. 'The Suburbs'
The video for this self-titled single from Arcade Fire's 'The Suburbs' (2010) was directed by Spike Jonze, the director of 'Being John Malkovich,' 'Where The Wild Things Are', and videos by Bjork, Weezer and Beastie Boys. It shows some kids hanging out in the suburbs - working, playing, skating, loitering - until strange and militaristic things start to happen.
4. 'Neighborhood #2 (Laika)'
The video for this second single from Arcade Fire's debut album, 'Funeral' (2004), follows the story of protagonist Alexander across a bizarre and spooky 2-D world of fires, snakes, hot air balloons, skulls, coffins and flying houses.
3.'Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)'
This standout track from 'The Suburbs' provides singer/multi-instrumentalist Régine Chassagne a moment to take center stage. And she does the same in this video, galloping around a peculiar neighborhood and acting very zany and sprightly while wearing a big pair of headphones. In addition to this "traditional" clip, 'Sprawl II' also has an interactive version, which you can watch here.
2. 'Black Mirror'
Of all Arcade Fire's interactive videos, this one for the first single from 'Neon Bible' (2007) is the most fun. It is also the scariest. You can drop and add the various instrumental tracks, and flip the view from positive to negative. It is a haunting, somewhat claustrophic experience. Watch the regular version below, and check out the interactive version here.
1.'Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)'
This video for the opening track from 'Funeral' combines the band members playing live with animation: the best of both worlds. It effectively sucks you into a strange alternate world while also remaining very human, warm, inviting. Arcade Fire's music, when the band is at its best, has the same impact.