Nothing In This World

Album: Wanderers EP (2021)
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Songfacts®:

  • In this track from the Adelaide, Australia, band Wanderers, lead singer Dusty Lee has a case of ennui - nothing seems to excite him anymore. He told Songfacts the story behind the song:

    "'Nothing in This World' first started during a solo session at a local studio one night in early 2019, I was wracking my brain for ideas as I'd booked myself in the same time every week in the hopes that creative inspiration might align itself with my calendar's time constraints. I recall it being one of those frustrating nights where everything felt forced and there was no creative vibe in sight. So I got a bottle of red wine and took a break to listen to some music. 'Loving is Easy' by Rex Orange County was on high rotation for me at the time. The stunning simplicity of that song just blows my mind. Inspired, I decided to re-harmonize it and do my own version, just for kicks.

    Before I even tried mucking about with the vocals on this weird idea, I sat there listening to a loop of the chords I'd come up with over and over as I tracked keyboards and funky little guitar lines, until eventually the 'loving is easy' hook gave way to new ideas.

    "Nothing in this world seems to get me high no more" came out of thin air, melody in tow. The rest of the lyrics flowed from there as I swiftly abandoned the original mission. I had drunk the better half of that bottle by this point, yet nothing had changed in my outlook. There was an overtone of numbness that continued even once I got into this new idea.

    I really delved into that feeling, this state of numbness/avoidance (whatever you'd want to call it) that seemed stagnant and floaty, neither here nor there. Not awful, not great. It's just in-between what I was feeling and what I wanted to be feeling, and I seemed to be falling just short of kicking my own arse enough to get up and move into that next moment, but also wanted to stay in that 'limbo' state of mind long enough to try and understand it. In that mind set, going through the rhythms of my days felt more like a daydream and the usual debauchery of my night felt like some old apparent I was tired of living in.

    'I'm gonna shake it up because I've lived this night before' is my way out, acknowledging that I know it's going to change and I need to search for these new ways of getting that 'high' again, instead of rinsing and repeating the same ol' broken ways. When I put it this way, it could easily have been a slow country song. But there was something I loved about the energy the beat and uplifting music was giving this narrative, instantly making it feel so much more hopeful. Like a simultaneously optimistic and pessimistic disco party.

    I came up with the skeleton of the song that night, demoed it all up with these classic old Hammond style drum loops, verse/chorus, rinse repeat. I took it to the guys and together we wrote the bridge where we unintentionally fell into a key change which lifted the last chorus up a tone and a half, but felt so great that we didn't even think about the fact that we're going to have to sing those notes live, classic stitch up! Haha

    Getting live strings on there was a must and I had a great time arranging them with Julian. Half of them are from the original scratch takes he sent me while he was just jamming ideas. That was mostly the bridge section, which replaced an intended guitar solo as the parts were so melodic and interesting. My guitar player ego gladly took a back seat. I ran them back through an old guitar amp to give them a more lo-fi sound and they sit great."
  • The music video finds Dusty Lee and Wanderers drummer Matt Birkin with a kind of disconnected ebullience, even when Dusty gets a beat down. He told us about the concept:

    "When we began discussing ideas for the clip we were drawn to this original connection of numbness that I had that first night writing the track. Exploring how that sits parallel to the happy sounding chorus that makes you want to dance.

    We worked with director Conor Mercury on the idea of first-person view, with an ironically goofy rhythmic dance walk that was a thread throughout, the unplanned part was how Matt and I took this same walk concept and reflected our own personalities. The song has such a distinct rhythm to it, we couldn't imagine not using that as a driving element in the video.

    The video was a depiction of things that are meant to be exciting, distracting or even thrilling and how they're not giving the same high that they used to, they no longer 'flick the switch,' so to speak - alcohol, drugs, money, gigs, parties, violence... we're passing through it all like a broken record that doesn't even earn our attention anymore, much less a reaction. There were many more ideas, objects and setups we had in mind for the video that we just couldn't fit in!"

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