Half of music’s appeal is nostalgia. Marvin Gaye crooning in the background during your first kiss. The teenage rite of passage of listening to Pink Floyd and lighting a doobie. That one trip to Vegas when you couldn’t, for the life of you, get Justin Bieber’s “Baby” out of your head.
Music is like a time machine.
Indie rock band Arcade Fire knows how powerful a tool nostalgia can be, so it teamed up with Google developers to create an interactive film for the single “We Used to Wait” that transports viewers back to their childhood — literally.
The project, known as “The Wilderness Downtown,” asks users to enter the address of the home where you grew up. And — presto! — incorporating visual data using Google Maps, Street View and a 3-D graphics engine, you’re now on a tour of the old neighborhood set to the band’s dramatic music. It’s guaranteed to make you smile.
The video (playable only with Google Chrome) is the first of its kind to use HTML5, the next-generation standard for structuring and presenting content on the internet.
It’s a music experience designed specifically for the modern Web, says Aaron Koblin, technology lead for Google Creative Lab. “Tailored to each unique person in real-time.”