What This World Is Coming To

Album: Grand Romantic (2015)
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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."

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