Vocalist Jehnny Beth described this driving, dissonant tune to NME as a "frustration song." She compared its meaning to Grinderman's 2007 track "No Pussy Blues," where Nick Cave expresses his exasperation at the constant rejection from a woman he was trying to seduce. Beth added, that this song is about "the frustration of seeing people who have potential, but are unable to express it."
The song is a new recording of the tune that was originally included on the I Am Here live EP, which was released on Jehnny Beth's record label Pop Noire.
The Prince-penned "Manic Monday" was the first song The Bangles heard coming from a car radio, but "Eternal Flame" is closest to Susanna's heart, perhaps because she sang it in "various states of undress."