This is the title song from Lucinda Williams' sixth studio album. She explained why she chose the name in an interview with Mojo in 2001: "I called it Essence because it sort of ties together the different sides of me," she said. "The side that enjoys independence and freedom, and then this side that sometimes just wants to be a housewife out in the desert somewhere, frying eggs. I feel this is kind of a woman's record. Love songs and lust songs."
Williams was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for this song in 2002, but lost to Nelly Furtado for "I'm Like A Bird."