Arcade Fire take you home—seriously, to the house you actually grew up in—in their fantastic new interactive video 'We Used to Wait'

arcade_fireImage Credit: Eric KayneIf it’s true that you can’t go home again, nobody told Arcade Fire. The Canadian collective’s new video for the single “We Used to Wait,” from their excellent recent album The Suburbs, lets individual users do just that—or at least, the closest approximation that a laptop and a high-speed connection can supply.

The 2-D technology of Google Maps allows each viewer to customize the clip by first entering the address of the home they grew up in, and if it’s mappable, incorporate moving images of that exact area into the journey of the faceless jogging avatar (you! One American Apparel hoodie and it could be you!) at its center.

Click here on thewildernessdowntown.com to choose your own adventure (you may have to also download Google Chrome), then come back and tell us what you think–and how well the execution of the concept plays into the record’s themes of childhood, suburbia and memory.

Me, I kind of think they nailed it. Physically I’m sitting at my desk at work, but ten minutes after clicking, I’m still 3,000 miles away.

(Follow The Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Comments (15 total) Add your comment
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  • jim

    Brilliant! This band is taking EVERYTHING to the next level.

  • Katja

    That is REALLY interesting…and I totally downloaded Google Chrome just to do it. At first I was panicking that all these pop-ups seemed to be happening…but all was made clear! Very fun to see my old neighborhood…though I have to say, Google appears to have taken pictures of my street at the least attractive time of year, because it was so depressingly brown and dead. Ahh, winter in a woodland region.

  • Blair

    I have no idea why mine didn’t work. I had about five or six tiny windows open, saw some birds flying around the main screen and heard the song. That’s it. This after putting my old address in. Uh, great.

  • Mark

    Yeah, same here. No worky. Tried in all browsers, including a fresh install of Chrome.

    Too bad, I was excited to see this.

  • jaded

    It was pretty sweet. At first I thought something had gone wrong because like 8 windows popped up, but if you don’t touch anything and just let it do its thing it’s cool!

  • Jack

    It didnt work at first but try try again! It is worth it.

  • Mark

    Ok, it just worked. I had to restart Chrome.

    Simply. Amazing. I’m a web developer and the scale of this project makes me weak in the knees. I’ll be playing this for my boss tomorrow and maybe set our stale shop down a different path.

  • tmwsiy

    nailed it for me…really sweet!

  • Jenny

    This is really awesome!

  • Lisa

    I also downloaded Chrome to try this…A…LOVE Arcadia Fire (discovered them recently when I got XM radio) and B. the video was really haunting and to see my old neighborhood was really neat!

  • T.A. Henry

    I think Arcade Fire, Google, and Google Chrome have officially evolved the entire ‘Music Video’ genre for the future!

    What an amazing journey!

  • Jess

    Thanks! That was fun.

  • Chance

    Purely fascinating! I LOVED it.

  • Carlos Paulino

    Someone ought to tell Arcade Fire that in addition to Grammy’s Album of the Year they should have also won “Plagiarism of the Year” with their song “We used to wait” a poor version of Wang Chung’s “Dance Hall Days”.

  • jog

    Useful information. Fortunate me I discovered your web site by accident, and I am surprised why this accident didn’t happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

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