We Used to Wait

Album: The Suburbs (2010)
Charted: 75
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Songfacts®:

  • Frontman Win Butler told the NME that this garage punk number was inspired by romantic postal liaisons he used to undertake. "In high school I had a letter-writing romance with a girl," he said. "I was trying to remember that time… waiting an entire summer, pretty much half a year, the anxiousness of waiting for letters to arrive."

    He added: "All day every day there's almost this cloud of feeling hanging over everything. We'd [his family] be in Maine, I'd walk down to the post office and come back… the whole day was consumed by that feeling."
  • The song's opening line, "I used to write, I used to write letters, I used to sign my name," was widely circulated online months before the record's release.
  • The song's interactive music video was put together by Chris Milk ,whose credits include Kanye West's "All Falls Down," and is an interactive project with Google Maps. Check it out on The Wilderness Downtown. (Its title is taken from the song's lyrics). You will be asked to enter the address of the house where you grew up and a video loads with aerial and street Google Maps shots of that neighborhood. You will then see your childhood address becoming part of the action.

    Win Butler explained the thinking behind the clip to NME: "The idea was to try and use what is powerful about the web. Director Chris Milk had the idea of working with Google Maps to find a way of using that database of information. I think he was sick of making music videos that networks won't even play."

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