The Black Keys duo of Dan Auerbach and Pat Carney recorded this with producer Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton in a number of different ways before settling on the version that can be heard on the El Camino album. "'Little Black Submarines' began as a demo that Brian and Dan made," Carney recalled to American Songwriter magazine, "but we completely changed the song around. We cut it four or five different ways, then we cut a really stripped-down version with acoustic guitar. We had a louder version, too, but it wasn't completely working, so we decided to combine the two by going into the studio and punching in a new ending. That whole ending is the first take we played, just figuring out what we're doing and riffing on that idea. That's why that part of the album feels the loosest. It's how Dan and I play. It's live in the studio, just guitar and drums, with the instruments bleeding into reach other."