I’m a fan of Arcade Fire and have recently been very much enjoying their new single “We Used To Wait”, it’s a great song about how times have changed and how the immediacy of technology in this day and age make the writing of, sending and anitcipation of receiving of a letter a thing of the past – you don’t have to wait for anything anymore, you can have it all now, but in some ways, it’s not as good as it used to be.
Well that’s how I read into it anyway, and it actually conveniently fits the angle of this blog post, so it’s interesting to see that in romanticising the past they use aspects of the latest online technology and social media to do (as far as I’m aware) what no band has done before and release an online bespoke music video, tailored to the user based on where you grew up!
In partnership with Google, they have released “The Wilderness Downtown” – a combination of HTML5 and Google Maps – that shows the character of the video running down some road and eventually round the location that you entered at the start, in the screenshot below, it’s street I grew up on in Horwich:
The use of multiple browser windows works really well as various synchronised angles of the view run in time to the music. As well as working well from an online point of view, the song also seems to fit well watching footage of the town where you grew up (though there is probably more impact if you no longer live there).
Tip: for “some reason”, it apparently works best in Google Chrome, so if you want to enjoy the video to its full potential, you might have to download this first if you don’t already have it.
Arcade Fire are no strangers to the adoption of the web and social media in promoting themselves, they recently streamed a gig live from Madison Square Garden on YouTube which attracted nearly four million viewers, offered various camera angles and was directed by Terry Gilliam!
Releasing videos online and adopting social media to promote singles and albums isn’t something new, but on this occasion the band has certainly come up with something innovating and this could well be a ground breaking move by them in terms of how music videos will be produced in the future. It will certainly be interesting to see what follows. Bet Lady Gaga is racking her brains over her next release.