Internet Explorer ad gets a hit for Alex Clare’s song “Too Close”
By MAEVE MCDERMOTT August 30, 2012 3:36PM
Updated: October 3, 2012 6:10AM
British singer/songwriter Alex Clare’s faltering career was revitalized by an unlikely source: Internet Explorer.
Clare is the voice of Microsoft’s advertising campaign for Internet Explorer 9, which features his hit single “Too Close,” a melancholy ballad that fuses Clare’s soul-tinged vocals with clattering percussion and a dubstep drop.
Since the commercial’s premiere in March, fans have flooded the Web searching for the mysterious singer behind the “Microsoft dubstep commercial.” The song has blossomed into an international hit, now at No. 18 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
Clare, 26, attributes the prolonged success of “Too Close” to its driving electronic beat and dramatic lyrics, inspired by a failed friendship-turned-romance. “It’s a dynamic song, and the subject matter is pretty emotive,” he says.
After the flop last year of his debut album, “The Lateness of the Hour,” Clare was dropped by his label and started re-evaluating his career.
“I got an email from someone at Microsoft asking permission to use [the song]. I said yes, not thinking much more of it.” Since the ad’s premiere, “Too Close” has sold nearly 1.2 million downloads. Universal Republic signed Clare to a deal that brought “Lateness” to U.S. audiences in May.
Clare dated Amy Winehouse briefly in 2006, but “Too Close” isn’t about her.
“She was a very special soul and a very talented musician,” he says.
Gannett News Service