The Beast in Its Tracks
was written following the ending of Josh Ritter's marriage to singer-songwriter Dawn Landes and their subsequent divorce. The line, "She only looks like you in a certain kind of light," also crops up in another track from the album "New Lover
Ritter explained why he used the lyric twice to MSN CA: "If you're suddenly on your own and you're looking around at all these people in all these potential people you see in a bar, or girls you talk to. You think, 'Have I learned anything? I've gone down the same road again.' I love that line, because I do feel that, like Mark Twain says, 'It doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.' There are those moments when you feel a little rhyme happening. Or Stephen King talks about that too. I love that line, so I thought I'd write another song about it."