Ranaldo plays guitar and contributes backing vocals on the new song. The track was recorded at Dave Grohl’s 606 Studios in Los Angeles, and Ranaldo added his parts from Sonic Youth’s Hoboken studio.
Speaking about the single, The Cribs say, ""I Don't Know Who I Am" (although ultimately quite different) came together in much the same way as "Be Safe" did back in 2006 - we had a recording of a long, improvised noise-jam which we then tried to refine into a more cohesive song structure. Due to the similarities in the writing process, it made us think of Lee again...we had initially requested that he play noise guitar over the track, because we wanted to keep it somewhat abstract and create the impression of the melodies just kind of emerging out of the static...but he went beyond the call of duty and also added some beautiful vocal harmonies too, out at the Sonic Youth studio in New Jersey."
The Cribs add, "Working with Lee on "Be Safe" was without question one of the highlights of our career as a band, and we think that "I Don't Know Who I Am" is a worthy follow up collaboration. We are very proud of how it turned out. Lyrically, the song addresses the disconnect that Ryan and myself have always had with our biological paternal lineage - and how that may have shaped our views on masculinity, gender roles, and the men we ultimately grew up to be."
The Sonic Youth musician previously contributed a monologue to The Cribs' 2007 Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever album track "Be Safe", and back in June The Cribs and Ranaldo reunited for a virtual performance of the song during lockdown.
Night Network will follow on from The Cribs' 2017 LP 24-7 Rock Star Shit, and is self-produced by the Jarman brothers.