Handsome

Album: English Graffiti (2015)
Charted: 74

Songfacts®:

  • The first single from English Graffiti finds The Vaccines frontman Justin Young declaring "thank God I'm handsome!" He told The Guardian's Michael Hann in 2012: "The way bands look has always for me been a really important part of pop and rock'n'roll music. If a band looks good, they're more seductive. It wasn't supposed to look heavy rock."
  • The single was recorded at co-producer Dave Fridmann's Tarbox Road Studio in New York. Fridmann, has worked on records for such artists as The Flaming Lips, MGMT and Tame Impala.
  • The video was directed by the Barcelona-based international art collective Canada and shot in a warehouse in Brooklyn during December 2014. The clip sees The Vaccines learning kung fu under the tutelage of an alien lizard. "We wanted to create a video that was a sort of bubblegum ode to cinema and, in particular, Hong Kong kung fu movies," Young explained. "Music to me is entertainment and escapism: we wanted the video to be an extension of that. We wanted to create another world, in which we can play aspirational, heightened versions of ourselves."
  • Want some etymology? The original sense of 'handsome' deriving from the root word 'hand' was 'easy to handle or use.' This developed in the sixteenth century to 'suitable' and 'apt, clever.' The word's current meanings of 'visually attractive' and 'striking, of fine quality,' followed soon after.
  • The English Graffiti album title came from an article Justin Young read in The New York Times about the globalisation of culture. Speaking with NME, the Vaccines frontman detailed how the piece in question said that "it doesn't matter where you are in the world, the brunch always tastes the same."

    He added: "We live in a really weird time. We're voyeurs. We're constantly looking at this constructed reality online. We feel super-connected, but I don't think we are. I feel a massive disconnect between what we perceive to be real and attainable and what actually is."

Comments: 1

  • Rachel Marr from FlintshireI wish song writers would leave the Lord (our God, Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ) out of songs unless of course they are to praise and worship Him. Really bad song, just seen it performed live on tfi Friday and the lead singer sounded weird and you couldn't hear the words properly ... probably a good thing considering.
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