Johnny Marr's debut solo album The Messenger had a central theme of the environments you live in shaping the person you are. Like that record, this song finds him plotting an architectural landscape onto music. He explained to Uncut the track was influenced by a book called The Crystal Chain Letters, "which is about building an alternative society."
Die glaserne Kette (The Crystal Chain) was a utopian correspondence initiated by German architect, urban planner and visionary Bruno Taut, who was active during the Weimar period. It is an exchange of ideas with a small group of like-minded architects and artists on what form the architecture of the future should take.