What This World Is Coming To

Album: Grand Romantic (2015)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This acoustic guitar-driven power ballad finds Nate Ruess singing about the afterlife. "This is the first time I'm not directing all my resentment towards religion, or being blasphemous on a record," he told Spin. "This is the first time in my life that I've been happy."
  • The song features a guest appearance by Ruess' Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony duet partner Beck, who contributes vocals and guitar. Ruess recalled to Rolling Stone: "I wanted Beck for 'You Light My Fire,' and wanted to work with him for obvious reasons. I had done a duet with Pink, so a male-female duet felt like 'Okay, that's been done.' I wanted to do a male duet, and I thought we'd both be a little more Midnite Vultures-y. I reached out prior to any of the Grammys stuff, and he is so cool and agreed to do it."

    "One day, I was just in the shower and started singing 'What This World Is Coming To.' His (Beck's) voice is obviously much lower than mine, and it would give me the chance to be the higher voice. I just knew from a production standpoint that it would only strengthen the song."

    "I reached out a week after the Grammys, and he was still so down to work together. I played him the song, and he was floored. I kept asking him if he wanted to change the lyrics and he said, 'No, I think this is perfect.' We spent a couple of days in the studio together, and there was a lot of back-and-forth. It's just amazing to see him play guitar and see how much he can do with music."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Director Paul Rachman on "Hunger Strike," "Man in the Box," Kiss

Director Paul Rachman on "Hunger Strike," "Man in the Box," KissSong Writing

After cutting his teeth on hardcore punk videos, Paul defined the grunge look with his work on "Hunger Strike" and "Man in the Box."

Kip Winger

Kip WingerSongwriter Interviews

The Winger frontman reveals the Led Zeppelin song he cribbed for "Seventeen," and explains how his passion for orchestra music informs his songwriting.

Famous Singers' First Films

Famous Singers' First FilmsSong Writing

A look at the good (Diana Ross, Eminem), the bad (Madonna, Bob Dylan) and the peculiar (David Bowie, Michael Jackson) film debuts of superstar singers.

Kerry Livgren of Kansas

Kerry Livgren of KansasSongwriter Interviews

In this talk from the '80s, the Kansas frontman talks turning to God and writing "Dust In The Wind."

Maria Muldaur

Maria MuldaurSongwriter Interviews

The "Midnight At The Oasis" singer is an Old Time gal. She talks about her jug band beginnings and shares a Dylan story.

Movie Stars In Music Videos

Movie Stars In Music VideosSong Writing

Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Mila Kunis and John Malkovich are just a few of the film stars who have moonlighted in music videos.