In an interview with Perfect Laughter, de Leon states:
How did you end up choosing Illinoise? Did you consider any other albums?
Illinois was the inevitable choice for me. I listened to it in the car on the way to my freshman year of college shortly after it was released in 2005, and it’s been my favorite album ever since. It’s such a complete album, not just a series of singles, and I’ve always thought of it as a beautiful piece of art that deserves to be listened to very carefully. I considered various other albums and artists (The Decemberists, Andrew Bird, even The Beatles, my first love) but I always knew I would end up choosing Illinois.