"Instant Crush" is a song by French electronic music duo Daft Punk from their fourth studio album Random Access Memories (2013). It features vocals from American musician Julian Casablancas, who co-wrote the song with Daft Punk members Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo. "Instant Crush" was released as the fourth overall single from the album on 22 November 2013. It was number 58 on Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Best Songs of 2013 list.
While working on the Tron: Legacy soundtrack in 2010, Daft Punk met with Casablancas in their studio through a mutual friend. 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. Casablancas responded favorably to the demo upon listening to it and subsequently provided accompanying vocals, forming the basis for what would become "Instant Crush".
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. Critic John Balfe considered the song "appropriately Strokes-ish, even if [Casablancas'] trademark drawl is fed quite substantially through a vocoder." 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."
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. Clips from the "Instant Crush" video were released exclusively on French news channel BFM TV on December 5, 2013. 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.
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.
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- McCabe, Kathy (9 May 2013). Daft Punk's human touch in new album Random Access Memories. news.com.au. Retrieved on 9 May 2013.
- Daft Punk Unveil Video for 'Instant Crush'. Harder Blogger Faster Blog. Retrieved on 6 December 2013.
- Daft Punk : "Instant Crush", le nouveau clip, est sorti. RTL]accessdate=5 December 2013 (5 December 2013).
- Instant Crush Official first diffusion on French TV. YouTube (5 December 2013). Retrieved on 5 December 2013.
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