Arcade Fire have leaked the first single from Reflektor, the highly anticipated follow-up to the band’s 2010 The Suburbs. If the title track is any indication, Arcade Fire’s fourth full-length release will be a bit less brooding art rock and a bit more DFA neu-disco. This should come as no surprise to devout followers of the band, as legendary James Murphy helped record and produce the track in DFA’s studio. True to form, the band simultaneously released a media-transcendent, audience-interactive reflective music “video” for “Reflektor”.
Murphy’s touch is all over “Reflektor”, but the disco four-four kick drums could represent a new road for Arcade Fire. Fans of DFA staples The Rapture, YACHT, and (of course) LCD Soundsystem will be grooving to the steady synth rhythms of “Reflektor”. Don’t expect the whole album to be filled with dance jams; Arcade Fire spent the last year touring several studios and recording Reflektor in parts. The song is a reprieve for those looking for a break from Arcade Fire’s art rock, but could be a misguided foray into the well traveled and arguably over-populated throwback disco rock.
In addition to the conventional video, Arcade Fire released an interactive media-crossing experience directed by Vincent Morisset. The project, which can be accessed through its new dedicated site, integrates your computer camera, the monitor, and an ancillary device (smart phone, tablet, mouse, etc.). By synching the device with the computer’s camera, users travel alongside a young woman on her journey to self-actualization. A hazy portal links reality with its virtual counterpart, breaking to clarity while creating wavy and geometric dance shadows. As the film’s heroine breaks free, the viewer’s reflection is integrated into the film with a message encouraging you to, likewise, break free.
Albeit borderline kitschy, Just A Reflektor is the first of its kind and the future of music entertainment. Arcade Fire introduced static but personalized user experience with The Wilderness Downtown when no other artist offered any level of interaction. Just A Relfektor takes a few steps forward by offering dynamic interactions where users directly connect with the video production and control their experience. While you contemplate the possibilities of multi-media entertainment, take a break to enjoy Just A Reflektor.
Arcade Fire are set to release Reflektor, a double-LP, on October 29 through Merge Records. You can pre-order the album through Arcade Fire’s webiste. And yes, you read that right; Arcade Fire will launch a world tour to support their fourth release.