Wherever I Go

Album: Oh My My (2016)
Charted: 29 55

Songfacts®:

  • The first single off OneRepublic's fourth studio album, "Wherever I Go" features epic piano lines and a funk-driven rhythm. It sounds like nothing the band has produced before. Explaining why it was important the lead single be different from the rest of the new album, Ryan Tedder said, "It's not indicative of the entire album but it's kind of like if you go have dinner, you don't order steak for an appetizer and steak for dinner. You split it up, and you have different things. So the first single... it's definitely an appetizer, I think it's the best appetizer we could come up with."
  • Tedder sings here of not being able to find a love to match one that he once had. This previous relationship will always remain a "ghost in the room," whenever he gets together with a new girl. Tedder explained the song is about "obsession, and almost an unnatural, unhealthy level of obsession."
  • Speaking on BBC Radio 1, Tedder discussed how hard OneRepublic worked to make the song sound fresh and current, but still organic. "It's hard as an actual band to evolve and still keep the humanity in the instruments," he said. "So it's tricky. You wanna hear the bass player, you wanna hear the drummer, but you want it to sound modern at the same time. So it took…ages to crack that code."
  • At just 2 minutes and 49 seconds the song is the shortest OneRepublic have released to date.
  • Speaking to NME, Ryan Tedder explained the background to the song's different sound: "We were listening to a lot of late '90s French and Italian disco records - stuff like Daft Punk, Cassius, Justice," he said. "We were also listening to a lot of Miike Snow and Mew and I became obsessed with the shape of those Scandinavian melodies, because they're so different to American gospel and other things that we've done. And so it was a combination of chasing those records with songs that are very bass and riff-driven that led us to 'Wherever I Go.'"

    "It felt like the first single because it's a more digestible version of some of the other stuff we've done for the album," Tedder added. "We could have put out other songs first that would have scared off a lot of our fans."
  • The song's music video was directed by Joseph Kahn (Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood.") It focuses on a Japanese office worker, played by Kenneth Choi, who is best known for playing the character Henry Lin on TV's Sons of Anarchy. The man's boring life is transformed when he discovers a secret passageway containing OneRepublic.

    The clip's theme is based on a quote from Henry David Thoreau's 1854 book Walden: "The mass of mankind lead lives of quiet desperation." Ryan Tedder explained to Radio.com: "The idea that probably more than half the population has those moments: you walk to work, and you see everyone else walking to work dressed as you are, drinking your Starbucks going, 'God, is this really it?' And [in the video], the guy has that moment."
  • Tedder explained the odd album title to Radio.com: "It wasn't really a joke, but we were kind of joking around, [bassist] Brent [Kutzle] and I were," 'God, album titles are so serious, they're so self-important and kind of ridiculous sometimes and so abstract. What if we just called it Oh My My?'"

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