This is the first single to be released from the Los Angeles Indie Rock group The Airborne Toxic Event's second album, All at Once. The band explained on their website: "It's called 'All at Once' because the songs deal with the idea of sudden change - how life generally doesn't change incrementally. Your parents die, a child is born, the airplane shakes, a former love from a former life walks casually by you on the street, and suddenly everything is different. We live in the quiet passages between these extraordinary moments of change. It's exhilarating. It's terrifying. It can be monstrously disfiguring. It can be potentially redemptive."
ATE also discussed "Changing" on their website. They wrote: "It's a song about conflict and resolution, resisting and accepting change. But let's not spend too much time dancing about architecture… Better just to listen and let it become part of the day."
The song was originally titled "Something You Own."
The song finds the band breaking musical barriers with some elementary percussion on the third verse. "When we first recorded the song 'Changing,' we had decided to cut the drums on the third verse and just clap and stomp instead. So we all got in a room at [producer] Dave Sardy's studio and did just that," frontman Mikel Jollett told Spinner. "Hit record, clap and stomp - which wasn't something we were used to as a rock 'n' roll band."
The Jon Danovic directed music video features members of Los Angeles-based dance crew, who are known for its community outreach, as well as collaborations with artists such as Rihanna and Lil Wayne.
Most of All At Once follows the theme of aging, mortality and the general unpredictability of life. However, Jollet told Spinner UK that this tune is just a jam that he "pounded out on a guitar." He explained: "I had written this song and the original version had all these falsettos and harmonies. It felt like Grizzly Bear or something, and it had this cool Walkmen-esque beat. We were playing it and I was like, 'Oh, that's cool.' Then I had this guitar one day and I was like, 'What if it was like this?' and I started stomping it out and it just became a f---ing jam. It felt like it was 1962 and I had a dirty amp plugged in and we were like, 'F--- yeah!' Suddenly the song became more like a rant and took on this other energy. It's just fun - fun to play, fun to sing, fun to perform. There's a lot of clapping."
Jollet discussed his expectations for the single with Spinner UK: "I didn't know what to expect when we released it. There's a lot of people who told us it sounds like the Clash or the Stones or a little Modest Mouse. I think people were like, 'Where's the big epic string park?' for the first single. I guess I could say that it's about some highfalutin idea - and some songs on this record definitely are - but this is just a f---ing jam."