Ben Howard explained the song's meaning to The Sun: "'Black Flies' is about someone I don't really speak to anymore. It's an observational song about the changes in the year. It's not about romance as a few people have suggested."
Howard explained to Reuters that the song is a tale of a ruined friendship. "We ended up doing separate things and going separate ways," said the singer. "That's what I write about most of the time, the people who come in and out of our lives and the memories that you form around them."
There was a rumor in the Soviet Union that The Beatles had secretly visited the U.S.S.R. and given a private concert for the children of top Communist party members. They believed the song "Back In The U.S.S.R." was written because of the concert. Actually, some fans still believe so.
Movie director Michel Gondry played live drums on the Late Registration track, "Diamonds From Sierra Leone." The Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind filmmaker happened to be in the studio on a day when producer Jon Brion was setting up a drum kit