Phantom Planet is an American rock band from Los Angeles, formed in 1994. The band consists of Alex Greenwald (vocals, rhythm guitar), Darren Robinson (lead guitar), Sam Farrar (bass guitar) and Jeff Conrad (drums). The band featured actor Jason Schwartzman on drums until 2003 and continued to release well-received albums in his absence. On November 25, 2008, the band announced in a blog entry on their website that they are going on “hiatus, and will not be playing any more live shows or making any new records, indefinitely.”

This song was released as a single from their second album The Guest in 2002. The song was first heard on television on episode 8 of Fastlane, which was executive produced by McG. Both the song and the band received major attention when it became the title song on the hit television show on FOX, The O.C. It was also previously in the soundtrack to the film Orange County.

The song is about driving on U.S. Route 101, traveling to see a concert. The song became a top ten hit in Austria, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Republic of Ireland, reaching number 3 (in both Austria and Italy), number 9, and number 10 in the respective countries.