Painting A Hole

Album: Heartworms (2017)

Songfacts®:

  • 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.

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