This was the first track to be unveiled from British alternative rock band Elbow's fifth studio album, Build a Rocket Boys!, the follow up to their Mercury Prize winning The Seldom Seen Kid. The song lyrically references the album title.
The song was written in defense of the British teenager, and the tabloid press's criticism of youngsters who lurk around on street corners attired in hooded sweatshirts. Frontman Guy Garvey explained to Q magazine that it's a reaction to "the anti-hoody s--t that goes on in the media, the thought that if you hang around on a street corner you're a criminal."
Gurvey elaborated to the NME: "One of the main themes of the record is me getting really annoyed when young people are alienated or demonised by the press because they wear their hoods up. Especially because, as far as I'm aware, hoods have been around for a pretty long time. I certainly had a snorkel parka when I was younger!"
Garvey told NME: "That song came about from me moving back to my old neighborhood and all the memories it brought back for me. That's a lot of what the album is about - the memories of being a teenager in the north of England."
Garvey told Teletext that moving house from Manchester back to Bury had helped to inspire the lyrical content of Build a Rocket Boys, including this mediation of youth. "I want to be closer to my folks," he said. "They're not that far as it is, but even closer isn't a bad thing. I want my kids to have the option to fall out of trees, like I did. So I'm writing very affectionately about the city and the age I am."