Reed wrote the song with professional songwriter Ammar Malik, whose credits include Maroon 5's "Payphone
" and "Moves Like Jagger
" as well as Gym Class Heroes' "Stereo Hearts
." Reed recalled the story of the song to Artist Direct
: "In 2006, I played a show with an old punk band in a small bar in Fairfax, Virginia," he said. "There were eight or nine people. Three people came up to me to say they loved the band and were big fans. I didn't think much of it."
"A few years ago," Reed continued, "I played a show in New York and one of those same kids came to the show and said, 'My friend is writing songs in L.A. You should meet him.' A year later, the same kid came to my show and said, 'My friend Ammar Malik is writing songs. He wrote 'Moves Like Jagger.' We get together and go to the roof of his beach house, with acoustic guitars, and wrote a song together. It's called 'Drunken Hearts.' It has to do with serendipity and circumstance and leaving things to chance."