The song's title combines the name of frontman Alex Turner's girlfriend (actress Arielle Vandenberg), and Jane Fonda's titular character in the 1968 French-Italian science fiction film, Barbarella, "Yeah, she's real" Turner told Q magazine of the tune's female subject matter.
The Barbarella film is referenced outright in the song right down to the central character's "silver swimsuit."
Turner told NME that the song's lyrics were partly inspired by the physicist and television presenter, Brian Cox, and his 2011 Wonders of the Universe TV series. "The words are a bit Brian Cox, a bit Wonders of the Universe," he said. "They're my favorite words on there."
Producer James Ford told NME why Turner's vocals sound different to his normal style on the fast part of the song. "I think it's doubled at that point," he explained, "I don't know if we've really done that before. He sings it really loud, but there's two of him. It kind of seemed like a good idea - in an Ozzy way."
Many of the lyrics for the songs on AM have a surrealist quality inspired by Gabriel García Márquez's magical realism. On this song, for instance, Turner sings of a girl whose "lips are like the galaxy's edge. And a kiss the colour of a constellation falling into place." Speaking with The Observer, the vocalist compared the lyrical content to Dutch artist M. C. Escher's lithograph Ascending and Descending, which depicts a large building roofed by a never-ending staircase. He said: "A lot of tunes on there describe scenarios that sometimes feel like a surrealist painting. I remember it from when we first started: going out, winding up at a club and it didn't seem to make sense. It felt like a never-ending staircase."
The black-and-white video was directed by the British filmmaker Jake Nava, who is best known for his collaborations with Beyoncé, including the clips for "Crazy In Love
" and "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on it)
." The visual carries a parental advisory warning and features the Arctic Monkeys performing at a seedy party in a smoky biker bar amongst topless women and partygoers making out.