The lead single from All Time Low's seventh album finds Alex Gaskarth admitting to some murky secrets from his past. He explained to Alternative Press:
"One of the things with that we wanted to explore [was] some darker tones, and I think 'Dirty Laundry' got to try out some different moods and different feelings. [It talks] about the guilty conscience and the mistakes that you've made and coming to terms with those and wearing them as badges. It was a really fun concept to explore and it really became one of the cornerstones of the album.
We wrote it right in the middle of writing the whole record and it shaped the rest of the album. I think there's a lot of reflection on this record."
All Time Low took some time out to record their new album, which takes the band into a dance-tinged synthy new direction. Garsgarth explained:
"We went up to Big Bear and Palm Springs [California], and stayed on ranches and locked ourselves away for weeks at a time. Basically all we did was eat, sleep and breathe music. That was really fun because we haven't done anything like that in a really long time. So that alone was really constructive and helpful for shaping the record that we ended up with.
'Dirty Laundry' kinda came in the middle of that—it was actually while we were at the ranch in Palm Springs, and we were working on four songs that day at the same time. We took a departure and the first thing that happened was the opening riff for the song. We laid that in and trapped it real quick and it became this really neat soundbed and [we] built on it from there. There was a lot of indirect '80s influence on this album, and we had a lot of fun with analog keyboards."
Alex Gaskarth expanded on the track's meaning to UK newspaper, The Sun. "The song is about dealing with your demons and that of people come with baggage," he explained. "Nobody's perfect. The second you acknowledge that, life gets easier. We all have dirty laundry we need to air out."