Pitchfork suggested that "Skinny Love" is about "Christy," Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon's former girlfriend. Vernon disagreed: "To say that 'Skinny Love' is about Christy would not be entirely accurate. We dated and she's an incredibly important person that I lived with for a long time, but it's about that time in a relationship that I was going through; you're in a relationship because you need help, but that's not necessarily why you should be in a relationship. And that's skinny. It doesn't have weight. Skinny love doesn't have a chance because it's not nourished." Vernon added: "Part of the trouble with the old haunting love, is that it f--ks with your future loves, and can damn and/or ambush your relationships."
"Skinny Love" was the first single to be released from Bon Iver's debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago. Justin Vernon wrote and recorded the album in his father's isolated log cabin in north Wisconsin, where he had retreated to following the break up of a relationship and his former band, DeYarmond Edison, plus a bout of mononucleosis.
Dido helped shut down a Neo-Nazi Web site after learning it was using "White Flag" to promote its hateful messages. Owners of the site had misinterpreted the track as racist and thought they represented their white supremacy views.