Earlier this month, fun. informed fans that – while they were not breaking up – the Some Nights band were going on an indefinite hiatus that will end “when we are inspired to do so.” With the Best New Artist Grammy-winning group on a break, singer Nate Ruess announced that he would momentarily leave his job as an in-demand-songwriter-for-hire and pursue a solo venture. Ruess revealed his first music video for “Nothing Without Love” on Monday, and the foot-stomping single is a statement of Ruess’ new solo career as he appears in almost every frame of the Anthony Mandler-directed video’s five-minute runtime.
Ruess recently told Rolling Stone that “Nothing Without Love” was initially destined for the follow-up to fun.’s 2012 album Some Nights, but the singer opted to refocus the lyrics on what was going on with his life at the time, specifically his relationship with designer Charlotte Ronson. “It felt so believable; I was saying what I was thinking,” Ruess said. “This is the first time I’ve been comfortable in my own skin, and it’s with someone who’s comfortable in their own skin. The reason I’m making a solo album is because it’s the first time.”
“Nothing Without Love” was produced by Some Nights collaborators Jeff Bhasker and Emile Haynie and features background vocals by Lykke Li and riffs from Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer. Those aren’t the only big names helping Ruess out as he launches his solo career: Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy also contributes guitar to “Take It Back,” a track from Ruess’ as-yet-untitled album due out this summer.