Arcade Fire Redefines Music Videos With New Interactive Experience

By Michael Preston
|  Wednesday, Sep 1, 2010  |  Updated 5:57 AM PDT
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READING, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28: Regine Chassagne and Win Butler of The Arcade Fire performs live on the Main stage during day Two of Reading Festival on August 28, 2010 in Reading, England. (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images)

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It's a shame that the Arcade Fire's new, online interactive experience is just reaching the masses, because it would certainly make a strong push to win breakthrough video at September's MTV Video Music Awards.

The Canadian indie band teamed up with director Chris Milk to challenge the very notion of what a "music video" is with a groundbreaking new concept, reports Billboard.

"The Wilderness Downtown" features the song "We Used to Wait" from the band's new chart-topping album, "The Suburbs." It combines Google's Street View, cascading browser windows, and a 3D canvas to thrust viewers back into their childhood neighborhoods.

The video was created in HTML5, which is an upgrade to part of the underlying architecture that powers most web pages. The video can only be viewed in Google's Chrome, which is the only major browser to have the needed HTML5 elements currently incorporated into its build.

After viewers enter their home address, the application loads and pops up at least eight browser windows that then open and close in tandem with the music. Eventually users will see - in something of a surreal experience - their own homes and are prompted to write a note to their "younger selves."

In a time when videos have become increasingly antiquated due to the static nature of the medium, the Arcade Fire have produced a thrilling new way for fans to enjoy their music. 

The band starts a North American tour September 22 in St. Paul, Minn.

View the video here: The Wilderness Downtown

Selected Reading: Billboard, CNET, Independent

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