Yorke revealed the release through Radiohead's online blog, "Dead Air Space", and commented that the songs are released "loosely" under his name. The first song, "Feeling Pulled Apart by Horses", was written and performed by Yorke with Radiohead guitaristJonny Greenwood out of a song Yorke reported to have started working on at his home in 2001, and has been played live twice—once by the full band in 2001 in an aggressive, distortion-heavy version, and once in a solo acoustic version by Yorke in 2005. "The Hollow Earth" is newer by comparison, described as a "bass menace" coming out of the sessions for The Eraser.
"Feeling Pulled Apart By Horses" was originally titled "Reckoner," but it is only loosely connected to the track appearing by that name on the band's 2007 album In Rainbows. Radiohead attempted to record the song in the sessions for that album, but added a coda that eventually became the entire song, the original version being dropped entirely. In 2009, Yorke and Greenwood finally recorded and released a "radical[ly] rework[ed]" version of the original "Reckoner" as "Feeling Pulled Apart By Horses."