“I couldn’t tell that song from any other synth thing on here” said my dad of Hurts’ ‘Better Than Love’. Almost coincidentally this was about the same time that I realised that instead of disliking Hurts, I actually embraced their slightly OTT version of Mancunian synthpop.
My relationship with Hurts has been a strained one: at first I liked them when I first heard ‘Wonderful Life’, thinking that any song that names a girl as Suzie is akin to Depeche Mode in the best possible way (only naming her Jezebel could have made that comparison more blindingly clear).
A brief love affair was born. I eagerly listened to their – at the time sketchy – MySpace uploads and wanted more. The mystique and lack of product intrigued me and their position on the BBC Sound of 2010 Poll despite no releases cemented this feeling. Then it all went horribly wrong.
A short time later Hurts released their black and white, pretentious video for ‘Wonderful Life’, confirming their desires to be polished and remarkably 80s but alienating me entirely. Those dancers, those angular lines, that use if extreme long shot and shadows… It was all designed to enrage me entirely. I dismissed Theo Hutchcraft as a poser with an earring and found that I wasn’t alone in my despair: message boards were filled with comments on how Hurts were ‘rubbish’ and ‘underrated’. I felt ashamed for liking them in the first place.
But for a while I managed to avoid Hurts and their distinctive brand. Happiness was released with what I found to be a mixed bag of reviews ranging from genius to overblown twaddle. This was the only contact I had until a few weeks back Hutchcraft appeared on Never Mind The Buzzcocks. At first I felt once again angry, bit something remarkable happened: I actually warmed to how genuine and funny he was. Everything I’d detested about the ‘Wonderful Life’ video seemed to be irrelevant and my respect increased.
So roll on my first look at ‘Better Than Love’. I knew the video had been around for so long, yet I had refused to watch it. The ballet dancers still got on my nerves but I just focused on what was important: the music. And there was reborn the love-affair.
So there you have it. The (admittedly not very interesting) story of how I fell in, out and back in love with Hurts. Kind of like (500) Days of Summer except Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel actually stay together in the end instead of drifting apart. Sorry to bore you. This is obviously what happens when you sign up to a Postaday Challenge….