It’s no exaggeration to call the previous Arcade Fire album, The Suburbs, a fulfilling and extraordinary experience. This effort helped to reaffirm the presence of artistry in music and, unsurprisingly, the band is leading into their next contribution, Reflektor, with a promise to do the same. The album’s first single, a titular track featuring David Bowie, combines the musicality that we expect from the band with a unique, internet-based video campaign that invites viewers to interact with the media on a level typically reserved for psychedelics. For fans still living in a more lo-fi age, there is a traditionally produced video featuring the same giant heads that we have come to love from “Sprawl II: Mountains Beyond Mountains.”
The Reflektor website encourages users to interact with the video using a control device, a mouse or touchscreen, to add dimension to the production, enabling lighting and effect manipulation. Of especial interest is the latter portion of the video, which features the message “Break Free,” delivered with some irony, as our interactions with the product are effectively constrained by a number of external decisions and technological limitations. How this paves the way for future interaction remains to be seen, but there is definitely potential in the Arcade Fire’s newest endeavor, and I am quite excited to see where the album, and future efforts to incorporate developing technologies, leads.
Overall, the viral promotion campaign for Reflektor seems to be working, as the band, established popularity not withstanding, is blowing up news feeds around various social media platforms.
Reflektor is available now for pre-order, and will release on October 29. In the meantime, don’t be afraid to engage the interactive video on the band’s website, or enjoy the more traditional media available for the single. Either way: listen, enjoy, and get ready for another great contribution from an amazing group.