First of all, thanks to my buddy Bau Kim for bringing this video to my attention. He writes a music-sharing blog called Tastes Bad, and it's pretty good, so you should definitely read it if you want to know what's what and which in the indie music scene these days.
A bajillion years ago when this blog was new, I gave a little review of a neat interactive music video by a Spanish band called Labuat. Being a lover of music and a lover of games, you can imagine that I think an interactive music video is just about the coolest thing ever. It's not really startlingly new or original anymore, and it may not even have been back in 2009, but I don't think it will ever stop being just about the best way to have fun with your speakers on.
Today's joyful bit of internet ephemera comes from an electropop group called Chairlift for a song called Met Before, with a video that is evidently about the multiple universe interpretation of quantum physics, as it applies to chasing after attractive people on a college campus. Put the video in full screen, then use the arrow keys to pick a direction whenever the arrows appear on screen.
It took me three tries, but I managed to unite the heroine with a ruggedly handsome fellow who chases storms (or something) in the woods. Other paths took me to the brink of a major breakthrough in neurological research, as well as a crazy psychedelic snowflake freakout in the sky. That is to say, there are many interesting choices to be made.
Interactive videos make good music sound better, by forcing you to involve yourself in a way that's really just a step below playing the instruments yourself. I'm not especially keen on electropop, and if you aren't necessarily down with warbly synthesizer madness you may find the music to be a little weird. But a great melody is a great melody, no matter how you record it, and the use of synth in pop music has come a long way in the past few years. I'd listen to this gladly, even if I didn't get to press buttons and direct the singer's world as I saw fit.
The choices you get to make are generally straightforward; they usually seem to be about moving toward or away from someone. The results of those choices come in a remarkable variety of tones, but they always seem to hang together as a complete narrative. That kind of attention to detail is a real joy; you never really feel dissatisfied with any of your decisions, even if curiosity compels you to go back to the beginning and find out what might have been.
Speaking of which, I just played it a fourth time, and wound up doing science with a cute girl and a swarm of bees. You can't tell me that's not a good time.