Sweet Nothing by Calvin Harris ft. Florence Welch
The video for ‘Sweet Nothing’, the fifth single from Calvin Harri’s album ’18 months’ and Harris’ first collaboration with Florence Welch from Florence and the Machine, opens with visual loneliness. Harris can be seen eating nervously at a diner bathed in blue light. A suit and tie Florence Welch is striding down red halls in the backroom of a working men’s club. There is a cinematic expectancy in this video, and ‘Sweet Nothing’ does not actually start playing until nearly one minute in, preceded by its own title overlaid on the screen. But once the song finally begins the video comes to life: Florence belts out the solemn lyrics as Harris is shown hurrying away from ever present dangers, including flash blacks to a fight he had with his girlfriend at home, and a hectic scene of violence when a group of men stop Harris down dangerous streets and beat him up for his monkey. Harris’ trademark beats don’t fully start until moments of panic and hurt for the characters, while Florence’s vocals lull the video back into the soft company and sadness of the song.
Sweet Nothing was filmed in just two days at a local working men’s club in Dalston London. The video was directed by frequent Harris collaborator Vincent Haycock, who has directed previous videos for singles ‘Flashback’, ‘Feel So Close’, and ‘Bounce’.
It was a difficult challenge for Harris to collaborate with Florence. Harris had to jump through several loops before he was granted his collaboration, reaching Welch while she was in the middle of a tour and busy with her own music career in Florence and the Machine. When Welch accepted the offer, Harris had to scramble down a demo out of thin air for the song for Florence to record over before the song was even created.
In the Sweet Nothing video, Haycock has created a cinematic vision of dreariness and confused sensuality. The video climaxes with scenes of Florence stripping on stage as Harris comes in from the dark streets and takes a seat in the back of the working men’s club. She pulls off her ponytail and reveals herself as a stripper, who begins to perform an angry dance in physical tandem with the violence of the alleyway scenes where Harris fights back against his attackers.