James Mercer's distorted voice sings of painting a hole on the side of a wall and walking through it into a new world. The Shins singer credits Looney Tunes with sparking the concept. "I've always been fascinated by that moment in the old cartoons, where [Wile E.] Coyote would paint a scene of the highway on a rock and hope that the Roadrunner would smash into it," Mercer told Billboard magazine. "Of course, what happens is that the Roadrunner would just go right into the scene."
The lyrics are more than a surreal, cartoonish fantasy. Mercer also sees the song as a metaphor for belief systems, and how they can cause us to create our own reality. "I guess I was thinking about fascism and so on, and the darkness of what can happen when people decide to believe in anything," he said.
The song features an electrified dulcimer played by Chris Funk of The Decemberists.