Chasing birds is a pointless pursuit because the feathered creatures just fly away, leaving the chaser stranded on the ground. Here, a doleful Dave Grohl reflects on the futile search for a long-lasting relationship.
For a time the singer was in a romance where he felt so high his "head was in the clouds." But once the relationship ended, he came back down to earth with his heart "six feet underground." He laments, "The road to hell is paved with broken hearts. Bleeding hearts like mine."
Some critics have compared the delicate, pretty ballad to the songwriting of Paul McCartney, which is far away from the heavy rock music of Nirvana and Foo Fighters. Grohl told the BBC he learned how to play guitar as a teenager by strumming along to The Beatles. "You know, to me dissonance and chaos is easy," he said. "Having listened to a lot of very difficult music in my formative years, I eventually found that the challenge of simplicity and melody is more rewarding than just screaming feedback and distorted drums."
"I realized that when I was in Nirvana," Grohl continued. "Kurt's songwriting was very simple and, ultimately, it really grabbed people's hearts because of its simplicity and melody. But, yeah, it's not easy to do."
Dave Grohl recalled in a track by track video for Louder
that he wrote the song on an acoustic guitar thinking it was going to be an acoustic song. Then he thought, "I don't know if we want an acoustic song on this record," so he added some electric guitar and drums.
Foo Fighters recorded the song for their 10th studio album, Medicine At Midnight. They released it as its fourth single on April 20, 2021.
Greg Kurstin (Kelly Clarkson's "What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)
," Adele's "Hello
," Sia's "Cheap Thrills
") produced the song. Kurstin is also in a duo called The Bird and the Bee with Inara George, the daughter of the late Little Feat frontman Lowell George. According to Grohl, it turns out that George "has the warmest, most melodious voice in the universe," so Kurstin sampled her singing, put it on his keyboard, and used it for this track.
The Foo Fighters marked the annual 4/20 Day cannabis culture celebration with a trippy animated video for this track. Released on April 20, 2021, it sees the band transported to a barren desert, where they encounter an assortment of surreal creatures. The link to weed comes from its opening line:
Chasing birds to get high
The Welsh computer animation studio Bomper Studio created the video after their creative film Coffee Run caught the eye of RCA Records in America.