Instant Crush

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"Instant Crush"
Daft Punk Instant Crush.png
Single by Daft Punk featuring Julian Casablancas
from the album Random Access Memories
Released22 November 2013 (2013-11-22)
  • 5:38 (album version)
  • 3:30 (radio edit)
  • Thomas Bangalter
  • Julian Casablancas
  • Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo
Daft Punk singles chronology
"Doin' It Right"
"Instant Crush"
"Give Life Back to Music"
Julian Casablancas singles chronology
"I Wish It Was Christmas Today"
"Instant Crush"
"Human Sadness"
Music video
"Instant Crush" on YouTube

"Instant Crush" is a song written, produced, and performed by French electronic music duo Daft Punk and American musician Julian Casablancas. It was released as the fourth single from Daft Punk's fourth studio album, Random Access Memories (2013), on 22 November 2013.[1] It was number 58 on Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Best Songs of 2013 list.[2]


While working on the Tron: Legacy soundtrack in 2010, Daft Punk met with Casablancas in their studio through a mutual friend.[3] The duo, who are fans of Casablancas' band The Strokes, presented him with an instrumental demo track intended for use on Daft Punk's next album.[3] Casablancas responded favorably to the demo upon listening to it and subsequently agreed to provide accompanying vocals, forming the basis for what would become "Instant Crush".[4]

Regarding the lyrics, Casablancas recalled that Daft Punk approached him with "the whole story" of what the duo wanted to achieve. At one point he wondered whether the song should be called "Summer Crush" based on how Daft Punk described the idea. The concept involved reflecting on the childhood memory of meeting a girl, but missing the opportunity to be with her. Casablancas initially based his lyrics on this story in conjunction with writing provided by Paul Williams, but felt that the result was "flat". Casablancas discarded the lines in favor of ones that he spontaneously sang to fit the structure of "Instant Crush", and expressed that doing so conveyed Daft Punk's concept better.[5]

The song as it appears on the album was co-produced and sung by Casablancas, who also performed lead guitar. Daft Punk played additional guitar on "Instant Crush" as well as keyboards and synthesizers. Nathan East performed on bass guitar while John "JR" Robinson played drums and Quinn provided percussion.[6] Critic John Balfe considered the song "appropriately Strokes-ish, even if [Casablancas'] trademark drawl is fed quite substantially through a vocoder."[7] De Homem-Christo noted, "It is true that it is not his usual register, it is the way Julian reacted to the track so for us it is even more exciting."[8]

Music video[edit]

Warren Fu directed the music video for "Instant Crush" with production by Daft Arts. He was previously responsible for the album artwork of Random Access Memories, and co-directed the video for "Lose Yourself to Dance". Tony Gardner and Alterian, Inc. designed character effects for "Instant Crush" and created statues from wax and fiberglass. Gardner previously directed Daft Punk's music video for "The Prime Time of Your Life" and was involved in the feature film Daft Punk's Electroma as well as the Alive 2006/2007 tour.[9] Clips from the "Instant Crush" video were released exclusively on French news channel BFM TV on December 5, 2013.[10][11] The full music video was released on Vevo the following day. The music video was shot on 35mm film in a 4:3 aspect ratio and was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" as well as The Twilight Zone television series.[9]

It involves the love story of two wax figures on display at an exhibition hall: a French soldier who bears a resemblance to Casablancas, and a female peasant on display across him. The video is interspersed with shots of Casablancas singing. The male figure is later taken away from the female one and put into a storage in the basement. Later, a fire starts, causing the floor to collapse, the female figure falling into the basement where she reunites with the male one. There, they fall over beside each other and hold hands as they melt. The video features a brief appearance of the Daft Punk robot helmets in a shelf, which were originally engineered by Gardner and Alterian.

Track listing[edit]

CD promo
  1. "Instant Crush" (radio edit) – 3:30
  2. "Instant Crush" (album version) – 5:38

Commercial performance[edit]

"Instant Crush" debuted at numbers 29 and 37 on the singles charts of France and Sweden respectively following the release of Random Access Memories,[12][13] spending sixteen weeks on the former chart.[12] It also entered at number 198 on the UK Singles Chart[14] and at number 16 on the United States Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.[15]

Release history[edit]

On 20 November 2013, Sony Music announced that "Instant Crush" would be released as the next single from Random Access Memories,[27] serving as the fourth overall single from the album. It was distributed to radio stations in Italy two days following the announcement,[1] and it was also released in Poland the same week.[27]

Region Date Radio format Label
Italy[1] 22 November 2013 Contemporary hit radio Sony
United States[28][29] 6 January 2014 Triple A radio Columbia
7 January 2014 Modern rock / alternative radio

Natalie Imbruglia version[edit]

"Instant Crush"
Single by Natalie Imbruglia
from the album Male
Released23 March 2015 (US)
FormatDigital download
RecordedJanuary 2014
Length3:26 (single edit)
Producer(s)Billy Mann
Natalie Imbruglia singles chronology
"Instant Crush"
Music video
"Instant Crush" on YouTube

In 2015, Australian singer Natalie Imbruglia covered the song for her fifth studio album Male. The song was chosen as the lead single and was released in March 2015. Imbruglia's version was recorded in New York with Billy Mann.

A 1950s style music video was shot in London on 10 March 2015 by director Joe Stephenson.[30]


Chart (2015) Peak
France (SNEP)[31] 150

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalogue
Canada 23 March 2015 Portrait Digital download 977282806[32]
United States
Worldwide May–July 2015 Sony
Australia 14 August 2015
New Zealand


  1. ^ a b c Corradini, Paola. "Daft Punk – Instant Crush (feat Julian Casablancas) (Sony)" (in Italian). Radio Airplay SRL. Archived from the original on 22 November 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  2. ^ "Daft Punk feat. Julian Casablancas, "Instant Crush"". Rolling Stone.
  3. ^ a b "Daft Punk Geeks Out On Star Wars, Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson & J.J. Abrams". KROQ-FM. 18 June 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  4. ^ Ghosn, Joseph; Wicker, Olivier (18 April 2013). "Daft Punk Revient Avec Random Access Memories". Obsession. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  5. ^ Stryker Interviews Julian Casablancas + THE VOIDZ. KROQ, YouTube. Retrieved on November 7, 2014.
  6. ^ Random Access Memories (liner notes). Daft Punk. Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment. 2013.
  7. ^ Balfe, John (3 May 2013). "First Listen – Daft Punk's Random Access Memories". Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  8. ^ McCabe, Kathy (9 May 2013). "Daft Punk's human touch in new album Random Access Memories". Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  9. ^ a b "Daft Punk Unveil Video for 'Instant Crush'". Harder Blogger Faster Blog. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  10. ^ "Daft Punk : "Instant Crush", le nouveau clip, est sorti". RTL. 5 December 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  11. ^ "Instant Crush Official first diffusion on French TV". YouTube. 5 December 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  12. ^ a b c " – Daft Punk feat. Julian Casablancas – Instant Crush" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  13. ^ a b " – Daft Punk feat. Julian Casablancas – Instant Crush". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  14. ^ a b "Chart Log UK: New Entries Update (1.06.2013 – Week 21)". Tobias Zywietz. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  15. ^ a b "Daft Punk Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  16. ^ ARIA Report. 27 May 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  17. ^ a b " – Daft Punk feat. Julian Casablancas – Instant Crush" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  18. ^ a b " – Daft Punk feat. Julian Casablancas – Instant Crush" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  19. ^ "Tutti i successi del 2013" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  20. ^ "Daft Punk chart history". Retrieved 22 February 2014.
  21. ^ Mexico Ingles Airplay : Jam 18, 2014. Billboard biz. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
  22. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201415 into search.
  23. ^ "GAON DIGITAL CHART : 2013년 6월 1주차" (in Korean). Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
  24. ^ " – Daft Punk feat. Julian Casablancas – Instant Crush". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  25. ^ "Daft Punk Chart History (Hot Dance/Electronic Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  26. ^ "Dance/Electronic Songs: 2013 Year-end". Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  27. ^ a b "Daft Punk zaprezentowali właśnie okładkę do nowego singla 'Instant Crush', który w tym tygodniu trafia do stacji radiowych także w Polsce!" (in Polish). Sony Music. 20 November 2013. Archived from the original on 22 November 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  28. ^ "Alternative > Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on 14 December 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2013.
  29. ^ "Triple A > Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on 20 December 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
  30. ^ Bagish, Corinne (20 April 2015). "'90s phenom Natalie Imbruglia premieres video for Daft Punk cover". Mashable. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  31. ^ " – Natalie Imbruglia – Instant Crush" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  32. ^ "iTunes - Music - Male by Natalie Imbruglia". iTunes. Retrieved 15 April 2015.

External links[edit]