This nostalgic song features autobiographic lyrics based on frontman Ryan Tedder's life as youth. "It is a true story of me and my disaster of a friend, one of my friends growing up," he told Forbes. "It's about being 19 or 20 and the summers in between school and college when you feel invincible and you're doing whatever you want to with whoever you want, and you feel invincible. You're also sitting around thinking, 'Is this as good as it gets? This can't be my peak.'"
"The song is about that youthfulness and those summers in those times, but also as an older person who is not 19, looking back, basically pledging to not be one of those people who lives in the past," Tedder continued. "It's kind of an interesting song because it's nostalgic, but it's nostalgic at any age."
The song's sound was inspired by French electronic music band M83. Ryan Tedder told Billboard magazine: "We love M83, and so the idea was, 'Let's do something that captures the spirit of what we love about M83 and make it a OneRepublic song with the lyric and the melody.'"
Ryan Tedder told ABC Radio he was struck by the realization that things might never be as good again.
I refuse to look back thinking days were better Just because they're younger days.
"I was like, 'Oh my God, what if this is as good as it gets?," Tedder said he remembered thinking. "'What if we're peaking?' Because there are people who genuinely look back the rest of their lives talking about the good old days."
"This song is literally like 'Glory Days,'" he added. "And so for me, it's about being that age and saying, 'Well, let's not let this be as good as it gets.'"