Albarn explained the story of this song to The Sun: "When we had the eclipse in 1999, I went down to Devon, like everybody else," he said. "From my house down there, you can see a long way down the coast. It was a classic British moment – a white lead sky and/be no indication of an historic event. Everyone was taking photographs of NOTHING. That became the event, this endless flashing of light all the way down the coast. In this song, that's what I got the emotional tug from."
"The first verse is about a recurring childhood dream," Albarn continued. "I'm flying in this slowly crashing aeroplane and it would always fly over black sand beaches. In 1996 I was going through channels in some country, and saw a documentary about Iceland. There were black sand beaches and it was almost like a bell going off in my head. A couple of months later, I was in Iceland and it had a profound effect on me."
"The second part is about a bus journey (with Blur) from Los Angeles to San Francisco to see The Church of John Coltrane, a mad place dedicated to Coltrane," he added. "We were very, very excited about it and got there zonked out on a beautiful autumn morning at about seven."