In 2009, Rolling Stone
magazine put Michael Jackson on the cover with the headline "Hope and Ruin" (the story was about the final days of the pop superstar). Trews frontman Colin MacDonald
saw the magazine in their rehearsal area, and started singing "hope and ruin" over and over to a song he was working on.
That didn't go anywhere, but his brother, Trews guitarist John-Angus, came in the next day with a slow piece of music in a Nick Drake vein. "I started singing the 'Hope & Ruin' lyrics over that, and it was really good, Colin told Songfacts. "Then Sean [drummer Sean Dalton] suggested we make it a really upbeat song with the slow-moving melody, and that's how it came together. Those are my favorite types of songs, the really slow, melodic songs that also kind of rock."