Painting A Hole

Album: Heartworms (2017)
Play Video

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.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Donnie Iris (Ah! Leah!, The Rapper)

Donnie Iris (Ah! Leah!, The Rapper)Songwriter Interviews

Before "Rap" was a form of music, it was something guys did to pick up girls in nightclubs. Donnie talks about "The Rapper" and reveals the identity of Leah.

Wedding Bell Blues

Wedding Bell BluesSong Writing

When a song describes a wedding, it's rarely something to celebrate - with one big exception.

Kip Winger

Kip WingerSongwriter Interviews

The Winger frontman reveals the Led Zeppelin song he cribbed for "Seventeen," and explains how his passion for orchestra music informs his songwriting.

Muhammad Ali: His Musical Legacy and the Songs he Inspired

Muhammad Ali: His Musical Legacy and the Songs he InspiredSong Writing

Before he was the champ, Ali released an album called I Am The Greatest!, but his musical influence is best heard in the songs he inspired.

Jack Blades of Night Ranger and Damn Yankees

Jack Blades of Night Ranger and Damn YankeesSongwriter Interviews

Revisit the awesome glory of Night Ranger and Damn Yankees: cheesily-acted videos, catchy guitar licks, long hair, and lyrics that are just plain relatable.

Curt Kirkwood of Meat Puppets

Curt Kirkwood of Meat PuppetsSongwriter Interviews

The (Meat)puppetmaster takes us through songs like "Lake Of Fire" and "Backwater," and talks about performing with Kurt Cobain on MTV Unplugged.