Quiet Town

Album: Pressure Machine (2021)
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Songfacts®:

  • A couple of kids got hit by a Union Pacific train
    Carrying sheet metal and household appliances through the pouring rain


    In 1994, Tiffany JaNae Taylor and Raymond Leo Newton were killed in a grade-crossing accident with a Union Pacific train. The couple, who were both from Brandon Flowers' hometown of Nephi, Utah, were just 17 years old. The Killers frontman was in the eighth grade at the time of the tragic event.

    During this country heartbreaker, Flowers laments the loss of the two seniors from his high school. He admitted to NME that as he wrote the song he found himself still really affected by the train accident. "I had seen one of them that morning," Flowers said. "They had a baby. I didn't go to grief counseling, they weren't my best friends – but I was just shocked at how emotional I was when I started to write this verse."
  • The Killers recorded this song for Pressure Machine, a record based on memories and stories that impacted Flowers growing up in Nephi. During the second verse, Flowers reflects on kids in his hometown overdosing on opioids. He told NME that the drug epidemic is one that has continued to this day. "We saw more overdose deaths in 2020 during the pandemic than any other year in recorded history. It hasn't given – not even a little bit," Flowers said. "It's affected my family and other people in the band's families. It's just a huge tragedy that America is facing."
  • On the chorus, Flowers sings of the tragedies that have befallen the "quiet town" with the good and hardworking lives led by most of its inhabitants.
  • The song starts off with a recording of a man pointing out how people in the small town die every two or three years when crossing the train tracks. A voiceover of a current resident of Nephi precedes each track on Pressure Machine.
  • Brandon Flowers wrote the song with Jonathan Rado of the rock duo Foxygen. Rado also co-produced the track with Shawn Everett.
  • Rado filled in on bass as Killers bassist Mark Stoermer was unavailable because of difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • That's Joe Pug playing the harmonica. The Maryland singer-songwriter also contributes harmonica work to the Pressure Machine tracks "West Hills" and "Terrible Thing," plus guitar on "Runaway Horses."

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