Bassist Nick Harmer explains the record’s moniker:
“It’s a Japanese style of art where they take fractured, broken ceramics and put them back together with very obvious, real gold. It’s making the repair of an object a visual part of its history. That resonated with us as a philosophy, and it connected to a lot of what we were going through, both professionally and personally. In the West, if you break an heirloom, you either throw it away or you make the repair as invisible as possible, but there's this artistic movement in Japan where the repair of it, the damage of it, is more important as part of the history of something than repairing it to its original state."
Speaking about the record, the band's Ben Gibbard spoke of Walla's departure and their rebirth from it:
"This is an opportunity for the band to become something it could only become by losing a founding member. It’s our goal to make records that rank amongst the best work we’ve ever done. I completely respect and understand why people love Transatlanticism or We Have the Facts… or Narrow Stairs. And I would hope that as we move forward, people listen with as little prejudice as they can and try to hear the music for what it is and not what they want it to be.
There’s been no “There was four, now there’s only three.” There will only be three of us in the photos now, and we’ll augment the live band for the time being and if we find ourselves playing with people that we feel can contribute on records, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. A lot of it has been like that, figuring it out as we go. But the one thing that united us all throughout the process was one goal: We wanted to make a really good record."