The Bon Iver album consists of ten songs, each of them named after or describing a real place. This instrumental is titled after the Ohio village of Lisbon, which according to the 2000 census has a population of 2,788. Founder Justin Vernon told UK newspaper The Sun "All these places names have a story or an emblem for a feeling or notion."
Vernon composed the instrumental as he was writing letters to his friend Ian Wallace serving three years in prison in Lisbon, Ohio. According to Qmagazine, his pal ended up in jail as a result of attempting to blow-up two university buildings for the Earth Liberation Front.