Beck dropped this funky cut as the follow-up to his 2015 single "Dreams
." When he first came up with the song, Beck didn't see it as a potential release as it came together so quickly. He recalled to NME
: "I was working on another song – maybe 'Dreams' – when I had an idea for a flute beat. I picked up the mic and 'Wow' came out totally spontaneously. I put it away and forgot about it. Then 'Wow' was on in the studio one day and someone said 'You should put this on the record.' I went 'I don't think anybody would like this.'
Usually, I turn in a whole album to my record company when they want a single. But there were a lot of songs in progress, so I sent in a cache of them this time. Nothing happened for months, then suddenly the record company said "We're putting 'Wow' out as a single." I was "Really? 'Wow'? Huh. Well, OK then." 'Wow' was the last song on the cache I'd sent over."