This is the first single from Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan's album, Laws of Illusion. It was McLachlan's first studio album of new material in seven years, since Afterglow in 2003. In the years between these two releases McLachlan married, separated, and raised two young daughters. On the disc the singer looks at love from both sides and this upbeat, piano–based song, has a musical atmosphere matched to lyrics that describe the heady thrill of new love: "I'm alive and I'm on fire/Shot like a starburst into the sky."
This song, along with the rest of the album, was produced by McLachlan's longtime creative collaborator Pierre Marchand, and together they co-wrote a number of the compositions. "Pierre and I have worked together for over twenty years," said the Canadian singer in press materials "I co-wrote a lot with him on this record, more so than in the past. It's an intimate thing to write with somebody, to reveal oneself like that. But I feel incredibly comfortable with him – there are no judgments. Pierre really contributed a lot to the lyrics of some of these songs. He could come up with just the right choice of words – simple but meaningful – to fit the story we were trying to tell."
"Piano Man" was inspired by Billy Joel's time playing at a piano bar in Los Angeles. The "real estate novelist" was a guy who always talked about writing a book, but spent all his spare time in the bar.
Kacey Musgraves originally offered "Follow Your Arrow" to her friend Katy Perry. However, Perry thought Musgraves should record the song herself as it seemed, "like something that you would totally say."