"Rescue Me" was written and produced by OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder and the band's bass player Brent Kutzle at the end of a Jonas Brothers session. It came about when Tedder told Kutzle he wanted to write a song with a concept that he'd started a few years back. The bassist, "started playing this lonely sounding guitar riff" and "in almost a stream of consciousness," Tedder came up with the chorus as it is now. Within ten minutes they'd completed the song.
So what was the concept Tedder came to Kutzle with? He said it was: "In every friendship there's a give and take, but sometimes you have to wonder if the love you give is the love you'll get."
Ryan Tedder told the BBC he wrote the song without really thinking about what he was singing about, but later he went back and dissected the lyric for "Rescue Me."
"It's really about the idea of friendship, and the people around you," he explained. "There's only so much time you have on earth, so are you spending it with the right people?"
The song was OneRepublic's first new music since "Connection," which they dropped in June 2018. Ryan Tedder had wanted a break from the band and had been writing material for Jonas Brothers, Pink and Sam Smith.
John Lennon's lead guitar work on Yoko Ono's "Walking On Thin Ice" proved to be his final creative act. It was upon their return home after completing laying down the track that Lennon was murdered by Mark David Chapman.