Arcade Fire are about to have a very, very busy fall. The beloved Canadian art pop band, whose last album was 2010's somewhat Spartan The Suburbs, are back with a new album entitled Reflektor and will also be providing the score to Spike Jonze's new film "Her," which will debut at the New York Film Festival before hopping into the Oscar circuit. The official rollout for the album is in its infancy, but two distinctly different videos have debuted for the title track. One is a moody black-and-white clip from music video auteur Anton Corbijn (watch it below), and the other a crazy interactive joint by frequent collaborator Vincent Morisset that kind of has to be played with to be believed.
First, the Corbijn-directed video is totally fun and weird, just like the song itself. It features both the band themselves and also various band members wearing giant, papier-mâché versions of their own heads (a holdover from the Suburbs era). There's a giant disco ball, a man wearing what appears to be shards from a disco ball, and lead singer Win Butler wearing eye makeup that looks suspiciously like Lisbeth Salender's "revenge" eye makeup from David Fincher's "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."
Corbijn's video perfectly captures the song's lyrical darkness and musical buoyancy. It points to the more disco-oriented sound for the album (highlighted by a recent secret show in Montreal) and if you aren't dancing along like the papier-mâché headed figures at the end of the band, then you've probably lost touch your sense of wonder, whimsy, and awe. (Yes, that's David Bowie singing backup vocals towards the end.)
Speaking of wonder, whimsy, and awe, the interactive video by Morisset is really, really, ridiculously incredible. One the music starts, you have the ability to interact with the video, sometimes subtly, sometimes in more profound ways. The band has been increasingly keen on using technology to augment their visuals, like the Google Earth-assisted clip from The Suburbs, and this is a sublime delight. Watch some behind the scenes and making-of bits from the video, and go to the site to play with it yourself.
James Murphy, the LCD Soundsystem mastermind whose excellent concert film "Shut Up and Play the Hits" was named for something Win Butler said onstage during the band's final show, produced the track (and, supposedly, much of the album), which explains why it sounds like an all-night party.
The band has also just been tapped to appear on the September 28th premiere episode of "Saturday Night Live," with host Tina Fey. Yeah that might be an amazing episode.
Reflektor (the album) is out on October 29th. And while you'd think that a soundtrack to "Her" would be imminent as well, the last time the band produced a score, for Richard Kelly's little-seen sci-fi thriller "The Box," an official album was never released. Then again, that was "The Box."