McCartney has said that the album would be 'very varied. I worked with four producers and each of them brought something different'. The songs produced by Paul Epworth 'weren't written but improvised. The title track, 'New', is a 'love song but it's saying don't look at me I haven't got any answers. It says I don't know what's happening, I don't know how it's all happening, but it's good and I love you.'
Other tracks are biographical: 'On My Way to Work' was written about his pre-fame past alluding to his time working as a driver's mate for Speedy Prompt Delivery in Liverpool. Similarly on the day McCartney composed 'Early Days', he had been reminiscing about his past in Liverpool with John Lennon: 'I started to get images of us in the record shop listening to early rock and roll and looking at the posters and the joy that that gave me remembering all those moments.'
Regarding contemporary inspirations, McCartney expressed that the album had been influenced by his marriage to Shevell: 'This is a happy period in my life, having a new woman - so you get new songs when you get a new woman.' He felt that New is generally joyful, but with an undercurrent of 'pain getting changed to laughter'. Ronson referred to the song 'Alligator' in particular as being brooding and quite tough. McCartney wrote 'Everybody Out There' specifically to 'get the audience singing along' and that he was particularly proud of 'Early Days' and the hidden track 'Scared'.