Though this song, like a number of others on Dear Science, is an angry diatribe against the system, TV on the Radio sugared the pill with upbeat dance rhythms and beats. Guitarist and songwriter Kyp Malone told MTV News: "It's just not wanting to write a song about complaint, basically. About these things that are sh--ty in the world and trying to present something optimistic... taking some actual responsibility to make the world someplace we want it to be. And we can do it with dance!"
"Abracadabra" was inspired by Diana Ross and The Supremes. Steve Miller first met the girl group when they performed together on NBC's Hullabaloo in 1966, and he wrote the lyrics after spotting Diana Ross skiing in the mountains years later.