What's better than sneaking out of your parents' house late at night to party, ammirite? Sure... but sometimes the dark night can get spooky.
Such is the gist of Arcade Fire's cinematic new video for "Afterlife," directed by Emily Kai Bock (Grimes' "Oblivion"; Grizzly Bear's "Yet Again"). It starts with a Latin American man in a cowboy hat selling flowers on the roadside, before returning home for dinner with his two sons, a toddler and a teenager in high school. The elder son asks his father for permission to visit a friend's house, but is denied, and later rebels by sneaking out to party until the break of dawn. Meanwhile, the father—apparently a widower—and toddler, both asleep on the couch, have dream-like experiences, both revisiting a woman in different scenarios; she's the wife and mother taken by the afterlife, coming to visit in the cover of darkness.
The song's initial lyric video, released weeks ago, was set to the 1959 film Black Orpheus, an adaptation of a Greek legend set in Rio de Janeiro during Carnaval. It showed the dramatic, bloody death of one of the film's main characters behind AF's spooky lyrics of crossing over. It has a similar vibe with the new official music video: Both thrive on the nighttime, exploring the shadows of supposedly joyous events like Carnaval and partying with your bros. AF's new album Reflektor does the same—the moon-lit disco beats and graveyard synths; Win Butler's hushed and chilling lyrics; the band's new look of white tuxedos and face paint; the eerie, glowing decor at recent gigs. Welcome to the afterlife.
Arcade Fire hit the road for a massive tour early next year—wear your snazziest duds!