This is the first single from I Never Learn, an album that was written in the wake of a broken relationship. Lykke Li said: "Every song on the album is a power ballad. Like one of those old radio stations. This is a slow dance; a slow burner."
"I wrote ["No Rest for the Wicked"] in Sweden when I was packing up my s--t, and I'd just gotten out of a relationship and it was a horrible time," Li added. "I just had the hurt, shame, sadness, guilt, longing. In the verse, I'm referring to myself pleading guilty but I'm referring to all of us."
During an interview with The Sun newspaper, the comment was made that the piano on this song has quite a hip-hoppy melody. The interviewer asked Li if this was deliberate? She replied: "Nothing I do is deliberate, whenever I create. I simply let go and pour out whatever I am feeling and visioning, like, whatever. I'm in the mood for – which in retrospect can be a cocktail mix full of inspiration."
"I think what I've always loved about hip-hop is the urgency, but the same goes for the blues," she continued. "Hopefully what I do is somewhere in between."
The phrase "No rest for the wicked" is a phrase originating from the Old Testament Book of Isaiah verses 48:22 and 57:20-21.
Isaiah 48:22 " 'There is no peace,' says the Lord, 'for the wicked.' "
Isaiah 57:20-21 "But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace," says my God, "to the wicked."