Empire of the Sun are Luke Steele of The Sleepy Jackson and Nick Littlemore, of the techno act Pnau. The duo find it difficult to explain exactly what their songs are about and are keen to hang on to the mystery of them. Steele explained to The Sun February 13, 2009 that talking about this song "and what it feels like when you're missing home or you're missing someone isn't just 'it' - one thing." He added: "It's also about when two people become one which is about me and Nick, when we were reunited but at the same time it's about so many other things. Sometimes trying to explain what a song is about spoils the beauty and it rips your heart out painting it black and white. The mystery is part of the beauty and you kill a song when you tell too much."
The song's music video was shot in the Bund area of Shanghai, China in the summer of 2008.
This song won the 2009 ARIA Award, the Australian equivalent of a Grammy, for Single Of The Year. The duo picked up three other prizes at the same ceremony also winning Album Of The Year, Best Group and Best Pop Release.
Honda used this song in a dialogue-free commercial for the 2016 Civic. In the spot, the car emerges from the head of an engineer and goes for a joyride, ending with the tagline, "Direct From Our Imagination."
The increased exposure of the track on the Honda commercial led to increased digital sales and a place on the Hot 100. It was Empire of the Sun's first ever entry on the chart.