“Maps” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Maps” features the singer entreating her significant other not to run astray. It was written primarily by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O and is understood to be personal, actually being directed at her real-life lover at the time, another musician named Angus Andrew. And it can be ascertained from the lyrics that he had other women chasing him. But Karen assures the addressee that she’s the one who truly loves him. So she is telling him to hold on before he goes out and does something detrimental to their relationship, i.e. break her heart. Indeed it has been suggested that the title of this song, which makes no actual sense within the context of its usage in the chorus, is actually an acronym. And what it would stand for is “My Angus, please stay”.

Facts about “Maps”

This track came out on 29 April 2003. It is part of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs same album that came out on that day via Interscope Records, Fever to Tell. And “Maps” also served as the third single from said project.

“Maps” was written by the following three musicians who comprise the Yeah Yeah Yeahs:

  • Karen O
  • Nick Zinner
  • Brain Chase

As noted above, it is Karen O who is recognized as the primary author of “Maps”. She reportedly put the song together in just five minutes upon hearing a riff that Nick Zinner was playing.  And it went on to become the band’s breakthrough track.

Indeed “Maps” has withstood the test of time, still being considered an indie classic some 20 years after its release. And considering how “effortlessly” Karen was able to compose the song, she has expressed fascination on how it has endured throughout the years.

Meanwhile the producer of the track is one David Andrew Sitek.

This song made it onto the Billboard Hot 100 and UK Singles Chart, in the latter case breaking the top 30. But its critical reception especially has been overwhelming positive.  In fact Rolling Stone even placed it on their 2003 ranking of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Also interesting to note is that Beyoncé interpolated “Maps” onto her 2016 hit song “Hold Up”.

The music video to this song, which was put together by director Patrick Daughters, was a favorite on MTV at the time of its release. And accordingly it received four 2004 MTV VMA nominations.

On said video Karen O actually cried for real. The reason being that the selfsame Angus Andrew had disappointed her by arriving unfashionably late to the video shoot.

Lyrics of Maps

3 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    So the yea yea yeas are pedophiles…

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’m honestly glad that the song DOESN’T refer to that current acronym. I’ve always liked the song, but in listening to some of the lyrics, it can unfortunately lend itself to mean just that. Examples: ‘Wait, they don’t love you like I love you’ could refer to a groomer telling a victim that their parents and/or significant others don’t know/love them like they do. A very typical groomer tactic. Another lyric that hits me is ‘my kind’s your kind, I’ll stay the same’ which may infer that age makes no difference and they’ll treat you the same no matter what age you or they are. If it doesn’t mean all that, it’s a really unfortunate circumstance that this song happened to have the ‘minor attracted persons’ moniker attached to it.

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