"Tonight" finds Phoenix lead vocalist Thomas Mars lonely and wanting some company. He blames himself for the situation that left him on his own, so he asks the addressee to come 'round tonight. "This song is about candor, splendor, and a touch of bromance," Mars told Apple Music.
Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig joins Thomas Mars on the song, marking a first for Phoenix. The French indie-rock quartet had never featured another vocalist on any of their songs until this track.
Once Phoenix decided "Tonight" needed to be a duet, they immediately thought of Koenig – the French group knew him from playing the same festivals and they had become good friends. They collaborated with Koenig remotely, something else Phoenix had never done. "Surprisingly, it made it more fun," Mars told Apple, "'cause every time we'd get his recordings it felt like Christmas in the studio."
The Oscar Boyson-directed video shows the Phoenix band members and Koenig on opposite sides of the world in a split screen. We see the French group in Paris while Koenig goes about his daily business in Tokyo.