This song was penned by Death Cab For Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard at a time of real transition. He explained to The Guardian November 14, 2012: "We'd grown up in a sleepy little college town called Bellingham, an hour and a half north of Seattle: everything was simple, living is cheap, you don't have to worry about tomorrow. Then we moved to Seattle and suddenly everyone's life became terribly spread out. I was mournful of the fact I was not as physically close to the people I loved – everyone was trying to figure out who they were, trying to make enough money to live."
"We'd reconvene at our bass player Nick's mom's house in the suburbs," Gibbard continued. "She was working on a PhD at that time and up all night studying, but she was so supportive – all our parents were – letting these scruffy musicians into their houses, moving the furniture around to set mics up. I've never forgotten the support they gave us."
Stephens Stills played timbales on the Bee Gees hit, "You Should Be Dancing." He was in the next door studio laying down a Crosby, Stills and Nash album and could hear Saturday Night Fever being recorded. Stills recognized its potential to be a monster hit and he wanted to contribute.