"Too Close" is a song by British singer 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 and Switch (the collaborative members of reggae band Major Lazer), with co-production from Ariel Rechtshaid and Mike Spencer. 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.
The song became popular after it was used in an advertising campaign for Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9. "Too Close" was a number-one hit in Germany and a top-ten hit in multiple countries, including the UK, where it peaked at number 4, and the U.S., where it peaked at number 7. The song has also been certified double platinum by the RIAA. The song was nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Single at the 2013 Brit Awards.
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 UK 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 Records 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 advertising campaign where the song was featured, "Too Close" sold more than 100,000 digital downloads, and it made its debut at number 68 on the Billboard Hot 100 in its third week of release. It reached the top-ten 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 number 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 weeks after the Microsoft advertising campaign premiered. The song peaked at number four on the UK Singles Chart and at number-one in Germany. It was the eighteenth 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 62 million views as of April 2016.
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.