Gronland is an area in Oslo, Norway, where Of Montreal frontman Kevin Barnes was living with his wife Nina, who is from that country. They moved there so Nina could give birth to their daughter, Alabee, in 2004 (this was a financial move - the procedure is free in Sweden but very pricey in America).
Barnes went into a depression around this time that left him lethargic and confused. As he sings in the first verse, he would hole up in their friend's apartment, leaving just once a day. In "Gronlandic Edit," he muses about religion, and how wonderful it would be to give himself to a god of some kind to heal his pain. But then he'd have to pick a god, and also suspend his belief in science - he thinks we're destined to fall back to Earth because "physics makes us all its bitches."
"I was raised in the Catholic church and a lot of the members of my family are still involved with the church," Barnes told Songfacts in 2020
. "So I've had first-hand experience with that form of religion and I can see how there are many toxic aspects to that, especially the way the more uptight sects of Christianity deal with things like homosexuality and women's rights to choose. In general, I see how religion is used as a manipulation tool by the state to create a patriarchal society with individuals who are unable to make their own personal decisions and are often oppressed by the patriarchal hierarchy. So, I can see how it's extremely toxic in this country or any country that has any sort of official religion because it's always used to oppress people. There might be some other side-effect where people have an easier time sleeping at night, but I don't think it's worth what you give up for it."