This is a darker and more heavily produced song than most of the other tunes in Bareilles' oeuvre. The singer told American Songwriter magazine why she created this bleak number: "'Lie To Me' was actually mostly crafted at home with garage band loops that I put together, and Ben (Folds, producer) added that incredible string arrangement. I love that song. I'm really proud of it. It felt like it was very different for me and sort of darker than my other records have sounded, but I feel ready to share more shades of my color.
I actually write kind of mean lyrics, but usually wrapped up in a sunny song," she added. "For a while I was having fun with that juxtaposition, but 'Lie To Me' is a bit more direct. It sounds like what it means. It's experimentation, finding new ways to express what I was trying to say. I'm excited to have people see different sides of my musical personality, so that one was fun."
American Songwriter asked Bareilles how much this song was inspired by personal experiences. She replied: "I'm a very autobiographical writer, so when people upset me or piss me off, they're going to end up in a song somewhere. But I definitely—I don't want to say exaggerate, because that makes it sound like it's not true—but you can extrapolate a lot from a small incident. No one betrayed me to the depths of my being. That's not where that song came from. But I think if you take a particular incident that's highly emotionally charged, you can draw it out into something that's even bigger than it is through a song. I think it's an effective way to write."