"Too Close" is a song by British recording artist Alex Clare. The track was first released in the United Kingdom on 15 April 2011 as the second single from Clare's debut studio album, The Lateness of the Hour (2011). The track was written by Alex Clare and Jim Duguid and produced by Diplo & Switch (the collaborative members of reggae-EDM band Major Lazer), with co-production from Ariel Rechtshaid and Mike Spencer. Musically, "Too Close" is a dubstep song with breakbeat and soul influences. Lyrically, the song describes the protagonist who is not ready for a committed relationship and he must end things with his love interest in good terms.
Clare said "Too Close" was inspired by a particular relationship with a close friend that turned romantic. He said, "One thing led to another, but it didn't really work out and that felt too close."
The song was first released in the UK on 15 April 2011 as the second single from the album. In March 2012, it was selected as the soundtrack to Microsoft's advertisement for Internet Explorer 9, released the following month. The exposure propelled the song to international success. This marked a turnaround in Clare's musical career and fortunes. Prior to it entering the singles chart, he had been forced to take a job as an estate agent after being dropped by his record label due to poor sales of his album. Soon after its success on the chart, Universal Republic signed Clare to a distribution deal that allowed The Lateness of the Hour to be released in the US.
In the weeks after the premiere of the Microsoft advert where the song was featured, "Too Close" sold more than 100,000 digital downloads, and it made its debut at No. 68 on the Billboard Hot 100 in its third week of release. It reached Top 10 in September after a boost in download due to it being featured in Fox TV's So You Think You Can Dance, with 127,000 downloads sold for the week. The song peaked at No. 7 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The song has sold over 3 million digital downloads in the US as of May 2013.
In the UK, the song sold 70,000 copies in the after the Microsoft ad premiered. The song peaked at number four on the UK Singles Chart and at number 1 in Germany. It was the 18th best-selling single of 2012 in the UK with sales of 557,000.
A music video to accompany the release of "Too Close" was first released onto YouTube on 15 March 2011 at a total length of four minutes and eighteen seconds. The video contains Clare singing in a chair intermixed with scenes of a heavily dramaticized representation of a Kendo match between two heavily-padded athletes in black uniforms. The fight takes place in an urban setting resembling a deserted factory building. Alex Clare said that he originally wanted samurais cutting each other up in the music video, but the budget did not permit it, so he had to settle for kendo fighters.
The video opened to very small numbers, but two months after the Internet Explorer 9 advert campaign, it gained much popularity and by 24 February 2013, it had more than 40 million views. It has over 55 million views as of December 2014.
An alternate music video was released to YouTube on 28 August 2012. There is also an official version of the music video with footage from Taken 2.