This ballad of existential questioning is the first single from The House, the fourth studio album by the Georgian-born British singer-songwriter Katie Melua. The song was written by Melua, Robbie Williams' longtime writing partner Guy Chambers and one-third of the pop production team the Matrix, Lauren Christy.
Melua told The Sunday Times April 18, 2010, that she decamped to Los Angeles to write with Christy and this was one of the first fruits from their sessions: "Lauren listened to the demo, then played me a piano riff Guy had sent her," she recalled. "I adored the riff. Something in the way it moved reminded me of Georgian music. We used the riff and the song suddenly clicked. At that stage, it was a ballad, but with a very strange structure. That idea of breaking down traditional structures, of taking the songs through lots of twists and turns and tempo changes, became the key for the album."
Melua returned to London and met up with Chambers, who not only agreed to his riff being used, but ended up contributing to a further five tracks for the album.
The House was helmed by Ray of Light producer William Orbit. It was Melua's first record not to be produced by Mike Batt and it was a surprise to some that the easy-listening singer had hooked up with the ambient techno boffin. She told The Daily Telegraph May 5, 2010: "I wasn't trying to get away from anything. It was more about going towards something. I wanted the music to be inspired by the future, something unknown that's never been heard before, but at the same time hold on to the values of the music of the past, to try and tap into something that's so ancient and old that its kind of forgotten. I thought that, if we went far enough in both directions, we could end up in the same place."