As if April wasn’t the month of major music comeback enough, Hurts surprised us with a glorious glimpse of the first new music since 2015 with their LGBT-centric Beautiful Ones track and video.
The track sings “we are the beautiful ones” as a video reverses an incident following a drag queen on a night out giving men who brutally attacked her a violent comeuppance. The video is a shrine and celebration of queer identity, pulling not only at the heart-strings, but calling together a collective of like-minded individuals who get up despite society perpetually knocking them down for simply being who they are.
Adam and Theo’s career as Hurts has been nothing short of turbulent and exciting, fitting the likes of Elton John and Kylie Minogue between their synths. Now, following three critically acclaimed albums, the new-wave duo appear to be back with a louder and more political message. Despite only being released last week, the music video has already racked up over 600,000 views and seems to be rapidly picking up momentum across the globe.
Following on from the triumphant release of both the Beautiful Ones track and video, we caught up with Hurts front-runner Theo Hutchcraft to discuss the impact of the song.
So talk us through both the video and the track, where did the idea spring from?
Well naturally the track came first. We’ve just been making some really exciting music over the last few months and some of the best stuff we’ve ever done. It was just a song that I feel is an important thing for us to write about. I feel like it’s a song about the outsiders and being individuals, something that I really identify with, both personally and as a band. We often feel like outsiders and a lot of the fans we meet are often those kind of people too. You can see in them that there’s a person waiting to get out, whether that’s just being shy or not worrying about being themselves. Those are the most important people in the world. It’s just a big powerful pop song and we always need good subjects for songs like that.
The video took a very strong LGBT+ focus, was that in mind when you originally wrote the song?
In order to show how important it is to be yourself and the freedom we have to be ourselves, it’s important to show the struggle and grim reality so many people face just trying to be themselves. I feel like the video shows how important it is for everyone, whether it’s the LGBT community or any other people who are supposedly on the outside of society, to embrace their identities. People struggle and there are people out there who’s main focus is to stop other people being who they are. The video is extreme and I thought that was the most powerful way to get that message across. We have to value our liberty.
And where did the idea come from to film it all in reverse?
I just wanted to show at the end, that things can end positively. It ends showing the positive side of the story. In the video, I wanted to show that people struggle for their individuality, but some people just don’t care, just go for it and be themselves. They’re stronger than what a lot of people think. I feel like there are a lot of people who don’t get up when they’re knocked down, but I believe that inside those people who are brave enough to be themselves, they’re stronger than anyone else. The video is a story shows that the reality might not be like that, with the revenge and comeuppance for the attackers, but so many people are strong enough to fight back inside.
What’s the reaction been like so far?
It’s been fantastic. It’s hard to know before we put it out. It’s obviously very violent and extreme, but again, I didn’t want to hold back from that. There were times when we were filming and it was kind of harrowing, but I thought it was important to push it to get that reaction. It’s all been so positive, from fans, from people who haven’t heard the band before. I’ve been overwhelmed by it all really, how people have found the meaning and the power in it. I find it nice to know that it’s spoken for people.
You guys have a huge Eastern European and Russian following, how have they reacted to the video?
They’ve been really positive! In so many Eastern European countries, there’s a younger generation of people who are extremely open minded and extremely positive about things. There’s obviously two very different sides to every country. Even in the UK it’s still not as free and libertarian as we’d like it to be. I think it’s touched those people. There’s not many people there saying these kind of things. It’s been important for us.
Music’s a way to expose people to different cultures and ideas. I believe in the idea of the cultural power of things. Music can help show a different approach to different ideas. If people hear the song or see the video in any of these countries, it might affect them in a way they didn’t know or change the way they feel about something and that’s all you can hope for with music. It bridges gaps between people. The message in the song is one of unity and positivity.
How was it dragging up for the video?
It was the first time I had done drag. It was really fun actually. I realised a lot of things in drag. It helps you understand the balls, courage and confidence it takes to be a drag queen. I’ve always admired them but being in that situation I was like wow. I just find drag queens so punk and rebellious and powerful. I find it so admirable. I had to practise walking in heels for a week. It was a lot easier than people make out! I did think I was going to break my leg on set when I was running in them though. That was the moment where everyone was like ‘let’s get the ambulance on standby’. In heels I was six foot seven. It felt very good to be that imposing.
Was Beautiful Ones a one off release for you guys or is it a start of a new era for you both?
We’ve been working on a lot of new music so it definitely wasn’t a one off but what comes next is up for grabs. There’ll be more music this year for certain, but in what capacity, we’re still not sure. There’s going to be more. We’re in a good spot and we’ve been making some really good music!