"Car Crash" was the first single from Some Mad Hope
, Nathanson's sixth album. His previous album, Beneath These Fireworks
, was his first on a major label - Universal - and released in 2003. It flopped, and Nathanson moved to a smaller label, Vanguard, which gave him the creative freedom he was after. It took him three years to make, but Some Mad Hope
was a breakthrough both artistically and commercially - it's where he feels he found his voice. "It was a record I made pretty much by myself in between being on a major label and signing with an independent label," he told Songfacts
. "I made that record the way I wanted to make it, without anyone telling me how to."