Papillon

Album: In This Light and On This Evening (2009)
Charted: 23

Songfacts®:

  • This epic track is the first single from British alternative rock band The Editors third studio album, In This Light and On This Evening. The album edit is extended at the end.
  • Mark Ellis, aka Flood, who has previously worked with U2 and The Killers, produced this song, along with the rest of the album. Frontman Tom Smith told the BBC that Flood had helped the band move in a more experimental direction. "Most of it was recorded live even though it's a lot more electronic. It sounds like us trying to tame these machines and hopefully it doesn't sound clinical and emotionless like a lot of electronic records do. Hopefully it's warm and breathing."
  • The band said that In This Light and On This Evening was influenced by sci-fi classics such as Bladerunner and Terminator.
  • The song's title is a reference to the autobiography Papillon by Henri Charrière. The book recounts the author's incarceration in a penal colony in French Guinea for a murder he didn't commit. It was made into a successful film starring Steve McQueen.
  • CMU asked bassist Russ Leetch what process the band go through in creating a track. He replied: "Tom (Smith) writes the lyrics and the basic chord structure. It could be recorded at that point, but then the rest of us try to bastardise it and make it into a collective song."

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