Earlier this week, Arcade Fire released an interactive video titled 'Just A Reflektor' (see trailer above) for its new song 'Reflektor,' the self-titled first single from the Canadian rock band's upcoming album, out through Merge on October 29.
This was not the first time Arcade Fire has created an interactive video: the band also did so for 'We Used To Wait,' 'Black Mirror,' 'Neon Bible' and 'Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains).' And, just as they did for the latter three, they also released a "traditional" video for 'Reflektor' to accompany the interactive version.
I was so busy and anxious making various colors and shapes move around the dancing woman in 'Just A Reflektor' that I paid no attention to the song itself.
It is debatable how effective these interactive videos are as standalone experiences, though they certainly seem to be good for building hype. Do people even need to interact with a music video in 2013, when so much of what we already do with technology is interactive? The concept is a bit romantic and dated, especially for Arcade Fire, who did the exact same thing seven years ago and four times already.
The format also makes the music secondary to the interactive experience: I was so busy and anxious making various colors and shapes move around the dancing woman in 'Just A Reflektor' that I paid no attention to the song itself. And, even if the interactive experience had been fun once, why would I want to "interact" with it twice? But, perhaps others find the secondary status of the music, and the ephemerality of it all, to be virtues.
Either way, Arcade Fire is not the only band in this game: other artists have also created interactive videos. Here are five more that you should check out.
IO Echo - 'Ministry Of Love'
The interactive video for this song by L.A. rockers IO Echo (pictured above) was released back in April. It begins with a big sphere made of smaller screens with images on them spinning around, and things happen when you click on them. Many other colorful scenes follow, sync with the music, and create a Warholian experience.
Experience 'Ministry Of Love.'
TOKiMONSTA - 'Clean Slate'
Released in July, the interactive video for this song by L.A.-based electronic dance music artist TOKiMONSTA was very cute and filled with cartoon monsters that you can pull down from the sky.
Experience 'Clean Slate.'
Cold War Kids - 'I've Seen Enough'
In this 2009 video for Cold War Kids' song from 'Loyalty To Loyalty,' you can make the four members drop in and out, and control the various instruments they are playing in order to create your own color-coded arrangement of the song.
Experience 'I've Seen Enough.'
Red Hot Chili Peppers - 'Look Around'
For this video from 'I'm With You' (2012), the members of Red Hot Chili Peppers hang out in various rooms doing random things. You can look at some slideshows; at one point, frontman Anthony Kiedis holds a dog.
Experience 'Look Around.'
Tanlines - 'Not The Same'
In July, in collaboration with the Creator's Project, Tanlines released an interactive video for this song from 'Mixed Emotions.' It allows you to become the creator of a Photoshop-y world, moving the band members around, manipulating the audio, and using different filters and background effects to switch the appearance.
Experience 'Not The Same.'
What do you think: Are these videos better or worse than Arcade Fire's recent contribution to the genre?