Arcade Fire release new concept video The Wilderness Downtown

Posted on 31 August 2010
By Norman Parker
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Arcade Fire have set a new gold standard for music videos for new song We Used to Wait off of their new album, The Suburbs.

It’s basically one big ball of HTML5/Google Maps/musical goodness.

The video was announced today on the bands Official Google Blog, which details exactly what elements went into its creation.

Dubbed The Wilderness Downtown (developed by writer/director Chris Milk) the video is a new kind of musical experience, reminiscent of the hypertext storytelling of old but much more advanced.

Basically, you go over to The Wilderness Downtown page using Google Chrome (don’t use Safari!) and type in the address of your childhood home when prompted.

If Google Maps has enough footage of the house, you’ll be pooled into a multi-browser movie of your own making.

The experience of watching this highly personalized video is not easily described, but basically the story of childhood ending as time rapidly slips away, trees shoot up out of nowhere on your old street, culminating in an opportunity to write a letter to a younger you.

The new endeavour really shows off the capabilities offered by HTML5. As the Chrome Experiments page expresses, the new audio, video and canvas tags mark a new and exciting direction for personalised music videos.

Check out the new video here: