Chairlift’s Caroline Polachek has a lot of decisions to make in the video for “Met Before”: should she focus on love or her studies (she’s a PhD student)? Should she help out a classmate when he drops his notes in the hallway? Does she like ladies or gents? Luckily, she has you, the viewers, to make the hard choices for her.
Brooklyn electro-pop duo Chairlift has officially leaped aboard the interactive music video bandwagon, releasing a choose-your-own-adventure vid that, like that one episode of Community, imagines the world as a series of alternate realities.
The vid starts off with Polacheck and bandmate Patrick Wimberly sitting in a science-y classroom, where a science-y professor is saying, “Because we don’t know exactly where we are in space and time, we actually are spread out between all of these different universes in which we exist. So really this means that anything that can happen does happen, and that, instead of being PhD students here, maybe in another universe, you’re rock stars!” It’s funny because they are rock stars!
From there, the video takes the expected turn: By clicking various arrows, the viewer can decide who Polacheck goes after — a nerdy chick or a nerdy dude — and how that story plays out. In each ensuing reality, the singer takes part in a different science experiment — a foray into beekeeping that leads to a kiss with the blond chick, an amble in the woods with the nerdy dude during which Wimberly either dies or takes a super intense nap. We watched the video four times already, and have only begun to scrape the surface of what different universes Chairlift has explored.
“Met Before” is part of wider choose-your-own-adventure video trend. The vid was made using Interlude, interactive video technology also used in a recent “We The Kings” video, as well as Andy Grammer’s “Keep Your Head Up” (the winner of the O Music Award for Most Innovative Music Video). Both of those works also allowed users to determine the fate of the band, making for the “lean-forward” music video experience that is becoming so common nowadays — an age when we tend to watch videos on a computer screen, rather than passively on the couch.
Check out the video above. Chairlift’s sophomore record, Something, is out now.