The 2011 album Codes and Keys found Death Cab For Cutie experimenting with layered arrangements and the addition of electronic sounds to their guitar-based indie pop. But when singer Ben Gibbard wrote the single "You Are a Tourist," he wasn't thinking about texture; in fact, he wasn't quite sure what the song was about. “That song is not meant to be a larger statement than it is," he said. "To me, it's just a series of affirmations and positive thoughts. It's somewhat telling that it's a single voice in the bridge underneath, a low register vocal that's almost whispering at you, after you've been shouted at."
In 2008, The X Factor winner Leona Lewis backed up her U.K. singing competition victory with an R&B anthem for the ages: "Bleeding Love," an international hit that became the best-selling song of the year. The track was co-penned by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (whose radio dominance would continue with songs such as Beyonce's "Halo" and Adele's "Rumour Has It") and solo artist Jesse McCartney, who was inspired by a former girlfriend, Gossip Girl actress Katie Cassidy. Given the song's success, McCartney didn't regret handing over such a personal track: "No, no," he said. "I'm so happy for Leona. She deserves it. There are really no bad feelings."