PJ Harvey's latest visual was directed by Seamus Murphy, who explained the inspiration behind the song and video at length in an interview with Noisey. "'The Wheel' has the journey to Kosovo at its center," he noted. "Who is to say what else has influenced and informed its creation? The sight of a revolving fairground wheel in Fushe Kosove/Kosovo Polje near the capital Pristina is the concrete reference point for the title. I can tell you its date—4th August 2011—from the piece of footage I made as we walked up the street to our parked car near the train station. It was a passing observation of a commonplace image, one of many that day... we were gathering material in a blind, optimistic endeavor... We had no idea if any of it would ever be seen, heard or would make sense."
"Making the film for 'The Wheel' involved a mix of footage from the first trip in 2011, rehearsals I shot of Polly in London and the most recent trip to Kosovo," Murphy added. "The enormous refugee crisis in Europe had been news for months. I spent some time on the Greek and Macedonian borders, and in Serbia, before traveling into Kosovo. It was happening in and through territories associated with recent conflicts in Kosovo and the wider Balkans. The idea of cycles, wheels and repetition once again being all too apparent and necessary to make."