The first song to be made available from the Kooks' Listen album, it received its worldwide premiere on Zane Lowe's March 11 2014 BBC Radio 1 show. "Down" was released on April 20 via Virgin/EMI and was described as "a mission statement from a band that have rediscovered what they loved about making music in the first place."
The R&B-influenced song was written by the band's frontman Luke Pritchard and Hip-Hop pioneer Inflo, who co-produced Listen. Recording sessions were split between London and LA. "With this record we didn't do any rehearsing beforehand," Pritchard said. "I'd write a song with Inflo or on my own, put it up and we'd all play over it. There was a real freedom to the process."
The Boyz II Men hit "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday" is an a capella cover of a song from 1975 by G.C. Cameron that was used in the movie Cooley High to express the feeling of parting ways with high school friends.