Love City is a fictional locale, inspired by Ridley Scott's futuristic metropolis in Blade Runner and frontman Justin Young's experiences of a house swap in Los Angeles. The song's premise is of emotions being finite and running out, with Love City a place where you can go and replenish your stocks.
"I literally swapped lives with a stranger. I lived in his house and drove his car while he lived in mine, but we'd never met and had no previous connections. In some obvious ways we're more connected than ever," Young explained. "But we're also more polarized than we've been for 100 years and the world is getting colder. What if there was a place where love and other emotions had run dry – but you could go to Love City to get them?"
Young sings in the first verse of arriving in Love City.
Our destiny's waiting
And our fate is on the phone
Saying, "Don't forget your papers
For the satisfaction zone
Back in the 2010s, Young did a day-long drive from San Francisco to Las Vegas with some friends. "Just as we were pulling into Vegas, the sun was going down and the neon lights were firing up," he recalled to Apple Music. "I imagine this song existing in quite a similar space."
This is the title tune and opening track of The Vaccines' fifth album. The song introduces the Love City premise of a metropolis where you can plug in and feel anything you want. "We have been fighting the idea that it's a concept record - it is loosely conceptual," Young told The Sun. "We started trying to figure out where this place might be, what it might look like, and why you might want to go there."
The Vaccines recorded Back in Love City at Sonic Ranch, an extensive residential complex in the middle of a pecan orchard near El Paso, Texas. Daniel Ledinsky (Tove-Lo, Rihanna and TV On The Radio) and Fryars (Lily Allen, Mika, Rae Morris) produced the record.