This song is about Brandon Flowers' relationship with his wife Tana.
I was a timid Rockwellian boy
She was tattooed and ready to deploy
Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), was an American painter and illustrator whose mid-20th century works presented an idealized version of the United States and its citizens. For Flowers, growing up in Las Vegas was like a Norman Rockwell painting, but his wife's experience was entirely different.
Brandon Flowers first met Tana Mundkowsky in 2001 at the Buffalo Exchange thrift store in Las Vegas. Her outfit caught his eye, and it was a case of opposites attract.
But I threw caution 'cause something about that yin and the yang
Was pushing my boundaries out beyond my imagining
Their relationship empowered Flowers to throw off his shackles and live the life of a rock 'n' roll star.
While you were out there, chewing on fat for probable cause
I let go
While you were out there weighing odds
I was imploding the mirage
Flowers explained the meaning behind the song title to Apple Music: "I'm obviously using the imagery of Las Vegas - we implode things, we have a casino called The Mirage - and just the idea of this facade that we can put on and how stressful that can be. I think getting rid of it and replacing it with what's real can be such a relief and can be something that we could all strive to do."
The song finds The Killers tapping into a Kinks-style sound. Brandon Flowers told Q Magazine, "It's got a little bit of that Ray Davies vibe to this. It feels like a perfect setup for the record."
Imploding the Mirage is the band's first album without Dave Keuning. Tired of touring commitments, The Killers' founding guitarist took leave of absence after recording 2017 album Wonderful Wonderful. Keuning's departure meant the band needed to turn to hired hands to play guitar and for this song co-producer Jonathan Rado, better known as one half of Foxygen, filled the vacancy.
Imploding the Mirage debuted at #1 in the UK, extending the group's "killer" run of chart-topping studio albums. They're the only international band ever to have six consecutive #1 studio albums from their debut set in the UK.