Slow Club: “It Doesn’t Have To Be Beautiful”

My new favorite video…

Slow Club: “It Doesn’t Have To Be Beautiful”

The camera starts on a photo of a bleak European city and dips down to a close-up of two young twenty-something pop stars in everyday clothes from the north of England. Rebecca Taylor and Charles Watson of Slow Club. She starts to bang on the drum without looking at it as the camera’s distance increases, never keeping a perfectly centered shot. They sing in unison, complimenting each other like a young couple in love, but sharing lead singer duties like a couple that knows how to make a relationship work and is experienced at getting along.

During the first bridge Rebecca gets up and leaves to the other room, shutting off the lights along the way. The camera spins around to find Charles in a dressed-up white shirt and strapping on a different guitar. He mugs to the camera for a few lyrics. She comes back in a hot black number with a butterfly-like design bedazzled on her chest and a white tutu. The camera stays with her moving through the warehouse until we’re in the recording studio. She sits on the sound board and throws a Vegas Showgirl style headdress on. He puts on a  bow tie and they return to the larger room, singing, ‘It doesn’t always have to be beautiful, unless it’s beautiful!’

They’re now fancied-up and back at their instruments, singing their love-ravaged hearts out. My favorite part is the next bridge, where they’re in front of the dark partition moved into place by the crew and confetti floats down in front of them. After Rebecca sings “It’s awful, it’s gruesome, it’s something, it’s cruel. Forever you will ask God if this happened to you,” she spins and blows glitter into the camera. Her eyelashes are so long and lovely and her face so becoming and angelic it would take the heart of 15 curmudgeons not to be charmed by her.

Charles then shoves the walls away, giving my future wife time to grab a top hat for their exit. They charge towards the camera, down a narrow hallway, laughing and sharing a bottle of champagne, spilling it everywhere. She slides under a metal railing and suddenly they end up in the street, joining two dozen revelers swinging their arms up and down to the music. They make everybody shake their booties like life is nothing but one big dance-off — despite all the lost of love. And isn’t it?

As the song draws to a close, they break free from the group and follow the jib down the English street, a strange, neo-modern building on the left-hand side of the screen, and finish on another close-up, their faces full of mirth and innocence as the picture fades…

It’s hard not to love this band and especially this song and video. They’re young, precious, and full of pop-sensitivity. She is beautiful. The track is catchy. The vibe is love-damaged — any Pisces can relate to it. The director uses a jib to dip around the room like a dizzy hummingbird as they change outfits, locations, and instruments, only using two edits that I can spot. It features dreary British architecture, and at the end an impromptu party in the street. And did I mention she’s beautiful?

The words:
“She said the sleepers on tracks have woken up
It’s the end of the line I guess our luck is up
It was fun while it lasted cause nothing ever does
Love has lost its meaning and it was wasted on us

In the electrical storm you were running wild
You had a death wish you were a child
I came to bearing a lightning bolt
If you came back as the deep sea,
I would come back as the salt

It’s like your head is stuck in a tightening vise
Your ears are deaf to your friends’ advice
Because you know that your heart will never be full
It doesn’t always have to be beautiful
Unless it’s beautiful

Okay leave now leave now if you just can’t stay
Because there’s nothing worse than somebody pretending away
The years of their youth they will never get back
So I’ll go home and practice the traits you said I lacked

Like listening to the thunder of your heart
And how with every other beat we grew further apart
Love is always going to be hard to you both
Never thinking that you’ll ever love anyone else as much

But it’s ugly, it’s ugly now yeah I know
But you never give things enough time to grow
It’s like driving through a carnival
It doesn’t always have to be beautiful
Unless its beautiful

Baby I know it’s over
Tell me (please) wait ‘til you’re sober
Now we know it’s true
The waiting never quite felt like waiting
When the waiting was with you
Baby I know it’s over
Tell me (please) wait ‘til you’re sober
Now we know it’s true
The waiting never quite felt like waiting
When the waiting was with you

So let me tell you tell you a thing or two
About how to survive when there is a me and a you
It’s awful, it’s gruesome, it’s something, it’s cruel
Forever you will ask God if this happened to you

‘Cause I’m always thinking, thinking about where you are
Who you’re with and if your mind is far
From what we do when we’re alone
Love is too much for me and now the wall needs to grow

So when your head stuck in a tightening vise
Your ears are deaf to your friends’ advice
Because you know that your heart will never be full
It doesn’t always have to be beautiful
Unless its beautiful

Baby I know it’s over
Tell me (please) wait ‘til you’re sober
Now we know it’s true
The waiting never quite felt like waiting
When the waiting was with you
Baby I know it’s over
Tell me (please) wait ‘til you’re sober
Now we know it’s true
The waiting never quite felt like waiting
When the waiting was with you”

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