Tough Love

Album: Tough Love (2014)
Charted: 34
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Songfacts®:

  • This song was recorded in New York and written by Ware with the production duo BenZel. Speaking about the track, Ware said: "I had just finished a run of shows in the States and went to New York to work with BenZel for a couple weeks, mainly as a different focus to touring. I didn't have any expectations or pressures with what would come out of those two weeks, and think 'Tough Love' sums this up. It was me experimenting with my voice and having fun with it. It just felt right and kind of dictated the route of the next album, much like 'Devotion' did on my first album."
  • BenZel is a production duo consisting of London electro musician Ben Ash, who operates as Two Inch Punch (Sam Smith's "Money On My Mind") and hitmaker Benny Blanco (Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl," Kesha's "TiK ToK," Bruno Mars' "Grenade," Maroon 5's "Maps.")
  • Ware's lyrics were inspired by the trails of maintaining a long-term relationship with her fiancée while touring round the world. "It's not always easy being away from the person that I love so much, but I'm also doing something that I really, really love," she told Pitchfork. "It's realistic that it's not always real easy."
  • The song's music video was directed by Alex Lee and Kyle Wightman of BRTHR Films. According to Radio.com, the clip places Jessie Ware in positions that loosely recreate several well known paintings. The shot of the singer on the grass, for instance, is a visual take of John William Waterhouse's 1889 artistic masterpiece Ophelia and the dark trench coat that Ware wears with blue sky and white clouds in the background recreates René Magritte's 1964 artwork The Son of Man.
  • Ware told MTV UK this was one of those tunes that was made in the moment. "This song really represents a lazy Wednesday afternoon in May in New York, and me not overthinking," she said. "Just creating a mood. The vocal that you hear on it is a demo vocal, so there's a weariness in my voice."
  • Asked by HMV.com why she titled her second album after this song, Ware replied, "I think I always knew that would be the title. I like titles to be song titles and this was a song that I really wanted the album to feel like."
  • The black and white CD cover photo shows Ware looking out a window in Brooklyn, which was the place where the album started.

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