This 9-minute album closer was written by Dido and her brother Rollo of the English electronic group Faithless. The song finds her returning to the comfort of the northern skies of England.
Dido made her mark in America, where she went in the late '90s to start her career. She toured near constantly for her first two albums, but stopped in 2005 after getting burned out. This song is part of her third album, Safe Trip Home, which finds her happy to stay put in her homeland and enjoy its beauty.
Along with a number of other tracks on Safe Trip Home, this was produced by the Los Angeles-based songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Jon Brion (Fiona Apple, Kayne West, Rufus Wainwright, Eels). Dido told The Sun Newspaper September 4, 2008 that enormous attention to detail was paid to get the album just right. She explained: "The effort that's gone into some of the sounds on the record would possibly make me look like the biggest nerd in the world. Instead of actually playing a keyboard, Jon might have played 32 components to make up a keyboard sound. We'd use a horn section or a whole orchestra or a wind section. We did some really interesting things. On 'Northern Skies,' we slowed the track down massively and got them (the orchestra) to play some quite crazy stuff which made great keyboard sounds."
In Gary Numan's "Cars," the message is that cars lead to a mechanical society devoid of personal interaction. This didn't stop automakers from using it in commercials. Both Nissan and Oldsmobile have used it in ads.