On this song, vocalist Noah Lennox, aka Panda Bear, sings about how he eschews material things and just wants four walls to keep his wife (fashion designer Fernanda Pereira) and daughter (Nadja) safe. He explained to The Sun January 9, 2009: "I'm not big on possessions but, for some reason, being the owner of a space, a safe house for my wife and my daughter, has become the most important thing for me, for better or worse."
Lennox multitracked his voice into a call and response choir for this number.
The Merriweather Post Pavilion album shares its name with a vast outside arena in Columbia, Maryland. Guitarist and vocalist David Portner, aka Avey Tare, explained to Billboard magazine: "I had seen the most concerts there, growing up. But we didn't really name it after the venue. We really liked the way it sounds and that it has the word 'weather' in it. We cast a lot of the songs to different weather patterns."
Despite being released in mid January 2009, a number of bloggers and reviewers swiftly claimed that Merriweather Post Pavilion would prove to be the best album of the year. Pitchfork Media gave Merriweather Post Pavilion a 9.6 rating, the highest score that the site has conferred on a new album since the 9.7 it bestowed the Arcade Fire's Funeral in 2004.
By the time they came to record Merriweather, the members of Animal Collective found themselves living in different cities. Mojo magazine January 2010 asked Lennox how the album came together. He replied: "I would be writing little demos and sending them to Dave, we would develop our parts individually. Then we got together for two weeks and a good 80 per cent of the album was done in that time. Then we took the songs out on the road in order to get them to a point where they had a strong live feel."
In their 2009 end of year coverage, UK music magazines Clash and Mojo plus the American publication Spin all rated Merriweather Post Pavilion the best album of the year.
The song was adopted by some as a recession-friendly anthem in light of its apparently anti-materialistic lyrics. Clash magazine January 2010 asked Lennox if it was his intention to write the first post-credit crunch song? He replied: "I wish I could say I was that globally minded! But I guess it's more of a self-centred sort of thing; it was really just my desire on a basic level to own my own place and kind of provide a safe house for my family and the people I care about. I thought that was at once a kind of weird materialistic thing but at the same time a noble thing."
This is one of Animal Collective's most popular tracks. However, it was nearly left off Merriweather Post Pavillion. Brian "Geologist" Weitz recalled to eMusic in a 2012 interview: "We recorded it twice, and the first version didn't sound good. Until we started playing around with it in the mixing, we were not even sure whether it would fit with the rest of the songs. So it wasn't like that was part of a grand plan where we knew that this song was going to make people psyched."