"Fling" is the only acoustic ballad to appear on Built to Spill's sophomore effort, There's Nothing Wrong With Love, and a beautiful one at that. A delicate song of few lyrics, the group's central creative force, Doug Martsch, contemplates the aftermath of a brief relationship armed with only a firmly strummed acoustic guitar supported by deftly arranged sweep of reflective cello from John McMahon.
The track opens with Martsch's brisk acoustic, establishing a two-chord progression, ending with a high chiming riff. McMahon's cello begins a low swell before Martsch delivers the first verse with a silky smooth double-tracked vocal, "Since my fling with you time went from popping off three times a day to popping off three times a week/And it takes me a long time/To come to the memory of us." McMahon interjects with a staggered cello interlude between verses, playing a variation on the melody line. The cellos are allowed to flow more freely through the last verse as Martsch seems to comes to a satisfactory resolution of the situation, "One week later there's melody/Doing what I always waited for/And I didn't stop her/But I didn't lead her on." The track slowly fades with McMahon's cello finding a somber counter-melody, overdubbed against a low pull of strings and Martsch's steady jangle of guitar.