This song finds Wild Beasts examining our motivation and reasoning as 21st century digital children. Singer Hayden Thorpe explained to DIY magazine: "I don't want to get too grandiose but I think there is a real transitionary point. We're at the turn of the century. There's an explosion of change, where the internet has shifted the fabric of human nature. Questions about religion and politics are all veering off in different ways, and we came up with an epic, destructive conclusion. I do think there's been a second coming as it were of technology screening into the future and it's just about catching up."
Bassist Tom Fleming commented to NME: "It's very tempting to idolize the past, but if you're going to be happy, you have to find it in yourself."
The lyrics to "Heartbreak Hotel" were written by a steel guitar player who was once a dishwasher repairman. He was inspired by a newspaper story about a man who killed himself and left behind a note saying only, "I walk a lonely street."