Produced by John Hill (Santigold, Florence + The Machine, Portugal. The Man, tUnE-yArDs), Cage The Elephant's fifth studio album, Social Cues was recorded at Battle Tapes Recording, Blackbird Studio and Sound Emporium in Nashville and The Village Recording Studio in Los Angeles, mixed by Tom Elmhirst and mastered by Randy Merrill in New York City. The 13-track collection serves as the follow up to the band's Grammy-winning 2015 album Tell Me I'm Pretty.
The majority of the material on Social Cues was written during the unraveling of lead singer Matt Shultz's relationship. In order to make sense of such a difficult experience, he explored the hidden recesses of his psyche, creating characters to tell different parts of his personal story. He explains, "it can be a vehicle to act out things that are hard to confront. When I'm creating, I try to put myself in a reactive state of improvisational thought. I let images just arise in my mind and wait for it to evoke an emotional response and then when it does, I know I'm on to something. I was watching a lot of Fassbinder films, like World on a Wire and The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant. I was thinking about their beauty coupled with the graphic surrealism of Aronofsky."
The first taste of Social Cues comes in the form of the deceptively upbeat lead single "Ready To Let Go." Beck also makes a guest appearance on the track "Night Running."