Hands

Album: Sounds From Nowheresville Deluxe Edition (2010)
Charted: 29

Songfacts®:

  • This is the first single to be released from alternative rock duo The Ting Tings second album, Massage Kunst. The song was premiered on BBC Radio 1 in the UK on August 18th 2010.
  • This was the first song the pair wrote after an exhausting year and a half on the road, which is reflected when Katie White sings, "clap your hands if you're working too hard." She explained the lyric to Spinner UK: "Traveling around the world, we saw how hard people worked. With our hectic tour schedule, we experienced it firsthand. People should have a little more time for themselves."
  • The Ting Tings hooked up with their label mate - electro DJ and producer Calvin Harris - for this song. The Scottish dance musician had previously done a few remixes for their hit single, "We Started Nothing." "We record our own music and play all the parts, so like on our first record it was important for us to get some distance from our production in the mix process," White told Spinner UK. "Calvin creates amazing pop mixes with his own music. We imagine him to work in similar ways to ourselves, avoiding many traditional recording methods in commercial conveyor-type studios. All our best music is produced in a self-created bubble zone, a personal space, carving up ideas and impatiently recording live performances. He was quick as hell and nailed all the main points of the track instantly. A good mix should make you feel even better about your track. We lost nothing and gained everything with his mix."
  • This is not the only song on the album that deals with the subject matter of overworking. Jules De Martino of the Ting Tings told the NME: "Our A&R man (Mike Pickering) came round to have a listen to some of the stuff we'd been working on. We played him 'Hands,' which is about working too hard, then 'Day To Day', similar theme, then 'Help'… By the fourth track he was like, 'Ok, I think I see what this record is about…"
  • The song was meant to be an underground, white label-only release and the duo were upset when it ended up being playlisted on BBC Radio 1.
  • After spending nine months working on Massage Kunst in a German jazz club, the Ting Ting pair found themselves unsettled by their labels excitement over its commercial prospects so they scrapped six of the ten songs and started afresh. "Hands" was one of the survivors and was a bonus track on the Deluxe version of Sounds From Nowheresville.

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