Music video by WALK THE MOON performing Shut Up and Dance. (C) 2014 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment.
Shut Up and Dance was written by the band members and songwriters Ben Berger and Ryan McMahon, and is based on an experience frontman Nicholas Petricca had at a Los Angeles nightclub. His girlfriend invited him to dance, inspiring the title, which he envisioned as an anthem for letting go of frustration and to having fun.
In an interview with American Songwriter, Petricca summarized the song's theme as "Encouraging people to let go of whatever it is that’s bothering you and get into your body and out of your head."
Shut Up and Dance was digitally released as the lead single from Talking Is Hard on September 10, 2014, and reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100 and becoming a number-one hit on the magazine's Alternative Songs chart and the Hot Adult Contemporary chart.
Petricca highlighted three songs that were instrumental in the Shut Up and Dance creation: "Just What I Needed" (1978) by The Cars, "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" (1980) by Pat Benatar, and "Jessie's Girl" (1981) by Rick Springfield, which he deemed "simple and beautiful and in-your-face rock songs"