Joanna Newsom was born in Nevada City, a small town in Northern California. She explained to Mojo magazine April 2010 that her birthplace was the inspiration for this song. Said Newsom: "That one is a little bit about the strange, sad inner fission that arises from a wonky and vacillating homing instinct, like two warring magnetic fields operating on the same compass. It's kind of a love song to Northern California, of course, and the place where I was born. I was thinking about what makes a place hard to leave, and what makes a place impossible to remain in."