"Bubbly" isn't about anybody specific, Caillat explained to I Like Music: "It's about the feelings you get when you have a crush on someone and they make you make smile all the time; they give you butterflies and you just adore everything they do." The young singer-songwriter added that the inspiration for the song came in the summer of 2006 when she was realizing that, "I didn't have a crush on anyone, and its always fun to have a crush. So I was just thinking about missing those feelings and wanting them."
Colbie Caillat grew up surrounded by music with her father, Ken Caillat, who co-produced the Rumours and Tusk albums for Fleetwood Mac. Despite only beginning to play the guitar at the age of 19, within 3 years she'd recorded a Billboard Top 10 hit. The Californian singer-songwriter is one of the first artists to emerge as a result of posting a song on the Internet. After a friend set up a MySpace site for the her, she posted "Bubbly," which began to receive thousands of hits and an organic campaign developed for it on the popular social networking site. This led to Colbie signing with Universal and achieving a crossover hit.
Caillat wrote this song with Jason Reeves
, who came to Los Angeles from Iowa and met Colbie his first day in the city. They ended up moving in together (Reeves says she's "like a sister"), and working on songs for her first album. When Songfacts spoke with Reeves in 2011, he told us, "The thing about Colbie and I writing is that it's so easy and natural. I really don't know how to describe it beyond that. But I think we're just so comfortable with each other and we're so free with what we're feeling at the moment when we're writing a song that there's not very many walls between us to get in the way."
The word "bubbly" shows up in the lyrics just once ("'cause every time I see your bubbly face"), but suits the mood of the song perfectly. According to Reeves, the original title was "Wherever It Goes," but after playing back the song and listening the whole way through, Caillat decided to call it "Bubbly."
In 2012 Caillat told Songfacts
that this was the easiest song she ever wrote. "I seriously wrote it in 20 minutes. It's one of those songs that just came out naturally," she said.
"Bubbly" spent seven nonconsecutive weeks at #5 on the Hot 100. This broke the record for the longest time a single spent at #5 without going higher. Previously "(There's) No Gettin' Over Me" by Ronnie Milsap, "Hungry Heart
" by Bruce Springsteen, "The Banana Boat Song (Day-O)
" by Harry Belafonte and "(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone" by Aretha Franklin, had all spent five weeks at #5.
This spent 14 weeks in pole position on the Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks chart, as did Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn
." The only #1 hit by a solo female artist to lead the list longer than these two songs was Avril Lavigne's "Complicated
," which was #1 for 16 weeks in 2002.
The song's 12 weeks on top of the Adult Contemporary chart made it the longest-running #1 debut single by a female artist since the AC chart was introduced in July 1961.
Colbie Caillat explained the album title to MTV. "Coco is my nickname," she said. "My parents called me it since I was a baby. And then my friends called me that, now my producer calls me it. So I just, I don't know, I figured that would be a cool name for the album."