This song kicks off Disclosure's second album, Caracal. The album's title was inspired by a jungle cat that hunts its prey at night. "A caracal is an incredible wild cat that I became fascinated with while on tour last year; I just love the way they look, their physical capabilities and their anonymity," Disclosure's Howard Lawrence explained. "It felt like a perfect fit for our Wild Life brand too, so the Caracal made perfect sense as the lead visual for the new album and over the course of recording, it also felt like a natural title for the new record too."
This six-minute jam was written at Alicia Keys' Jungle Studios in New York. The Disclosure pair was inspired by the vistas of Manhattan. "We had this amazing view of New York, and the sun was going down as we were writing," recalled Guy Lawrence to Billboard magazine. He added that the song ties into the nocturnal wildcat-referencing album title.
The song was written with and features vocals by Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye. Howard Lawrence told MTV News: "He made me appreciate how good it is to just relax in a session. We do so many sessions where we're under time restraints and Abel will just come and [makes relaxing noise]. That's why the song is so long."
Disclosure actually supported The Weeknd in his early days, at a gig in London. Howard Lawrence recalled to Spin: "He was playing his first-ever London show and his support act dropped out. He was like, 'Who can just come and DJ before our set?' We went and did it. That's one of the first times we ever saw him, but we were aware of that (House of Balloons) tune 'What You Need' before that."
Working on the song in New York was magical. Guy Lawrence told The Sun: "Watching the sunset was amazing and the only song we've written where our immediate surroundings influenced the whole meaning of a track."