Josh Ritter wrote The Beast in Its Tracks
in the wake of his divorce from American singer-songwriter Dawn Landes. This song finds him showing real disdain towards his former wife. Ritter reflected to MSN CA
: "There's like a feeling of wanting to curse somebody. No matter what happens for them to out of the blue feel like there is a joy robbed out of their life. That's what it feels like. There is like a, 'no apologies' in these songs. I'm telling you maybe what I wanted at the time. Over time, maybe those feelings change. By the time I wrote it, there's an angry bitter song about the next love coming along and there being no joy in it. I did write some songs that were pretty mad and shouty. They were just not honest and didn't feel right. Temper tantrums are sometimes not as effective as a few quiet words."