This is a love song where Frank Turner replaces misery with defiance. He told the story behind the track to NME: "In thrift shops you can buy used postcards, which are a fascinating snapshot of someone's life," said Turner. "There's this beautiful self-contained short story. I got really into them when I was sort of seeing someone but it didn't really work out; I sent her a postcard and she didn't write back, which I thought was poor form."
The song includes a first for Turner: a horn section. "Everybody thought I was mental when I suggested horns," he told Q magazine. "But I pushed it through and they sound f--king great. I always wanted my own E Street Band!"
Frank Turner (from The Sun): "'Mittens' is about realizing you're worth more then you're currently being valued at."
Turner revealed to Songwriting magazine how he stood his ground regarding the name of the song. "The record label hated the title and I told them to go f--k themselves," he said. "So it's still called 'Mittens.'"
He also explained the progression and evolution of the tune, adding, "I honestly had somewhere between 50 and 60 different versions of that song on demos and in soundchecks from the last couple of years. We tried everything with that song. I think we got it right in the end, but my God did it take a while!"