Last month, Calvin Harris helped Rihanna take home the MTV VMA for Video of the Year with “We Found Love,” a video whose dysfunctional romance and dark-but-beautiful imagery has been permeating the hearts and minds of viewers since last year. In keeping that gloomy theme alive, Harris has returned with a video for his forthcoming album’s fifth single, this time alongside Florence Welch, to deliver an intense visual for an already powerful song.
In the video for “Sweet Nothing,” we see a suit-donning, gender-bending Welch (sans The Machine perform in a seedy gentlemen’s cabaret club as Harris – a seemingly loyal patron – looks on longingly from the bar area. Revealing the treatment’s plot slowly, director Vincent Haycock soon juxtaposes images of Welch getting tossed around by a violent male character behind closed doors with shots of her venting to Harris in the cabaret club’s bathroom. Taking it upon himself to seek revenge for her circumstances, Harris pays some men to beat the breaks off of Florence’s deadbeat beaux, and as her soaring vocals spill out over the track that Harris produced, Welch’s character strips down to her bustier in an electrifying performance that’s forged both in the song’s anguish and in its newfound liberation.
Even though the lyrics for “Sweet Nothing” – a song that we’ve been hopping Soundcloud lilypads to hear for weeks – are reminiscent of a typical break-up song, the extreme, gritty visuals we become privy to still manage to come as a surprise. But on the heels of the success of both “We Found Love” and Harris’ first solo single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, “Feel So Close,” this sort of shock-value may be something we need to get used to from the Scottish DJ. His album 18 Months drops late next month, and however you slice it, the manifestation of this mutually beneficial relationship between him and Flo – musically and visually – will likely aid them in making their way onto the charts soon enough. Or at least we hope so!