The first single from Nick Jonas' second solo album, "Close" finds him coming to terms with his split from Olivia Culpo - Jonas and the 2012 Miss Universe winner parted in the summer of 2015, and he later took up with the actress Kate Hudson. Jonas said the song is about when you "can't open up and be vulnerable with someone."
His breakup with Culpo changed how Jonas approached the album. He tweeted: "I thought I knew what it would be about… Then I had a breakup. It then became very clear what this thing would be about… And that I would need to dig really deep… S--t is too real sometimes… Reliving some of these real life experiences through this music is hard."
This song is a duet with the Swedish singer-songwriter Tove Lo. The pair have a steamy dialogue where Jonas first opens up about wanting to get intimate in this relationship:
I want you, babe Ain't going backwards, won't ask for space 'Cause space is just a word made up By someone who's afraid to get too close
Tove Lo is buying it:
I'm keeping cool while you keep smiling Saying all the things I'm thinking
They agree: It's time to get close and move this thing forward.
The video was done by the Swedish director Tim Erem, whose other work includes Tove Lo's "Moments" and Rihanna's "Work."
In the video, Jonas and Tove Lo are in a warehouse sitting on chairs that move them around involuntarily. At first, they repel each time the get near each other, but eventually they come together, stand up, and work their way into a frenzy of passion, with minimal clothing but plenty of dirt and sweat.
This marked the first time Tove Lo interacted with another musician in a video; she says Jonas calmed her nerves and helped her through the process. "We were both covered in mud, bruised up, and bleeding by the end of the shoot - but still with big smiles on our faces," she told Entertainment Weekly. "It was awesome."
It was Jay Z who made Nick Jonas realize that he should name the album Last Year Was Complicated. "I had a title picked out. It was called 'Unhinged.' It's one of the songs on the album," the singer explained on 97.1 AMP Radio's Mornings with Carson Daly. "And [Jay Z] said, 'Look, listen. As I've heard the whole body of work now and gotten to know you better, I don't feel like it quite sums up the story you're telling. So, let's just talk about this year of your life. What's it been like?' And I said, 'Last year was complicated.' And he was like, 'That's the title!'"
Tove Lo and Nick Jonas are pals, so it was natural for the American singer to invite the Swedish songstress to participate in the song and video. "Since we're on the same label, that's how we met," Tove Lo explained to ABC Radio. "And we've just been friends for a while. And when he was doing his record, he just basically asked me, 'Hey, do you want to be featured on this song?' and said, 'Listen to it, see how you feel.' And I listened to and fell in love [with it] right away and I was like, 'Yes, I'm in.'"
Tove Lo added that the collaboration was a "very painless process."
"We talked creative together very easily," she explained. "It was not, like, through a bunch of people; it was him and me discussing it together, what we wanted it to be."
"He has a very clear vision," Tove continued. "And it was easy to understand and see, and I agreed with him so yeah, it was a very painless process. It was great."