This song was released as the lead single from Octahedron in North America, whilst in the rest of the world "Cotopaxi" was selected as the first release. It was shortened from its album time frame of 7:20 to a radio-ready 4:50.
The song was initially premiered as part of the stripped-down acoustic set at the band's 2007 New Year's Eve show:
Unusually for Mars Volta, whose lyrics generally have a dark, mystical subject matter, this is close to being a straight-up love song. Vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala told Drowned In Sound that Octahedron is a lighter, more commercial record than they've done before. He explained: "We wanted to make the opposite of all the records we've done. All along we've threatened people that we'd make a pop record, and now we have." He added that this song was meant to end up on Bedlam, "but I guess it didn't fit. What we wanted to make was an acoustic album. So this is our version of that, but obviously not sticking to the rules. It's always good to get rid of one audience to gain another. The old audience always knows what to expect. And I'm sure whatever audience comes from this album, we'll disappoint them with the next record."
This song was finished when Mars Volta recorded 2008's The Bedlam in Goliath. In fact a snippet of an early demo of this song leaked to the internet before anything from Bedlam did. Bixler-Zavala told Revolver Magazine why the duo didn't include it on the 2008 set. He explained: "We didn't know if it fit on that album and at the time we had different managers. We showed them the song but they really didn't even say anything about it. So we just kind of left it because we really wanted to make an acoustic record. We had seen this guy Vic Chesnutt play and it kind of gave us the inspiration to move in a more mellow direction. That song was done a long time ago and everything else just came into place from being in studio on days off from tour."
The Octahedron album title refers to either the geometric shape consisting of eight equilateral triangles or the musical term referring to a six-note sequence. This is Fake DIY asked guitarist and songwriter Omar Rodriguez-Lopez why they duo titled it thus. He replied: "I don't know yet! I think I'll know in a couple of years. Usually they're just striking words or sentences that stick out during a time period. The coincidence is that there are eight songs on the record, we'd been a band for eight years and, at the time, we were an eight-piece. The record's a year old. It was recorded in August (the eighth month) of last year."