St. Vincent explained this song to About.com: "There's an emotional truth to all of the songs, but I fictionalized the time and place and event. A song like 'Laughing with a Mouth of Blood' is the story of a young person going to Los Angeles, living in a motel, sending letters back home that say 'everything is going well, I'm doing great out here' but the reality is that they're just watching televangelists on TV, and finding themselves in more and more desperate situations. I think desperation is a big part of the record. And of the life of any actor. To me, there's nothing more admirable, but also more bad, this archetype of artistic endeavor, than an actor's work. That image, to me, is like a metaphor for the whole artistic mindset."