The album is the first the band self-produced, with additional assistance provided by Crowded House-producer Mitchell Froom on two tracks, "Silently" and "Top Ranking". In a press release accompanying the album, the band members acknowledged their goals to be more spontaneous in their song-writing, to aim for simplicity and clarity, and to create additional tensions. Drummer Simone Pace said he found it nerve-wracking to enter the studio with only loose ideas for songs. Singer Kazu Makino admitted it "wasn't an entirely enjoyable experience. Without a producer, a referee, we could really get on each other's cases. It got intense."
The bandmates admitted that until they reached the mixing stage they were unsure what direction the album was taking.
Simone said it "sounds fresh because we are exploring new things. We get tired of doing the same thing all the time, so we search for other things to do."
The music video for single "Top Ranking" was directed by Mike Mills, and guests director/writer/actress/artist Miranda July as the main, and only, character. At the start of the video it says "One pose per second." Following that we view July for the duration striking a different pose every second, creating the effect of a living statue.
Artist Alex Gross created the album's cover art, "The Tragedy".