This track is about the ebbs and flows of relationships. Singer Eddie Vedder told the Toronto Globe and Mail: "On the strength of this album, we feel good about where the band is at. Our relationship is long-standing, but it's turned into a forthcoming relationship. We're open and honest. Things go pretty easy – we feel like a gang. We feel like a galvanized group of individuals. As far as waves, I think we're up there."
Vedder is an enthusiastic surfer and this is one of several songs that Pearl Jam have recorded referencing the ocean. Others include "Oceans," (1991), "Whale Song" (1999) and "Big Wave" (2006).
US sales of the ocean themed video via iTunes were donated to Conservation International's Marine Programs. Back in 1995, Pearl Jam began its association with the Surfrider Foundation by donating proceeds from a pair of shows in San Diego and since then the band has regularly taken opportunities to put its music to work to help keep the world's waters clean.