This was released as the first single from the American Psychedelic Pop band Yeasayer's third album, Fragrant World. Guitarist/keyboardist Anand Wilder told Complex magazine: "This was a single that we were all really excited about as being a new direction for the band. There's a great sounding sub-bass in it, and a pretty good melody that goes back and forth. A lot of good drops."
Several of the Fragrant World tracks combine upbeat instrumentation with dark lyrical content, but on this song the band switches things round. Guitarist/keyboardist Anand Wilder told Complex magazine: "'Longevity' is super slow and sludgy, but it's actually a song about relationships and having good memories about some. I think conversely maybe some of the uptempo songs have darker context. I think it comes from searching for new ways to make sounds."
Multi-instrumentalist Kishi Bashi played strings on this track. He has toured internationally as a violinist with such acts as Regina Spektor and Of Montreal.
Geffen Records made history on June 27, 1994 when Aerosmith's "Head First" became the first major label song made available for exclusive digital download. Download speeds at the time were so slow it took around 75 minutes to download the track.