“Sleepwalker” by The Killers
Perhaps the most comprehensive way of describing what a “sleepwalker” is, as presented in this song, would be someone who is out of touch with nature. Or being more precise, we can generally say it is an individual akin to an urbanite.
And what inspired Brandon Flowers to write this song was after returning to his more-natural hometown setting in Utah after spending a considerable amount of time in the heavily-urbanized Las Vegas.
More specifically, he did not set about writing this song by noticing the contrast between those two environments per se but rather how they possessed different seasonal patterns. Upon returning to Utah, presumably his hometown of Nephi – a city of only 6,400 residents (as of 2019) – he rather relished how this environment possessed the full range of seasons as opposed to just “hot… and cold”, as is Las Vegas.
So going back to the title, as used in the first verse it can be said that the “sleepwalker” is actually the vocalist himself.
Meanwhile in the second verse, Flowers goes about more directly encouraging ‘dreamcatchers’, whom we will classify as urbanites and/or those so caught up in their own affairs that they no longer appreciate the beauty of nature, to come out and relish something as taken for granted as the changing of seasons.
Or put differently, just watching Spring turn into Summer, turn into Fall, turn into Winter is something to behold in and of itself. And being able to appreciate such is a timeless experience, i.e. one that never gets old.
Also as revealed in the bridge, it can be said that the symbolism of it all to the vocalist represents the ideological cycle of mending fractured human relationships, or something like that.
Or once again resorting to Flowers’ own words, this entire piece is “sort of analogy for a person becoming a new creature and coming back to life”.
Indeed whereas some parts of “Sleepwalker” are easily discernible, such as the hunter in the intro celebrating being afforded the opportunity to grow up in naturally-abundant surroundings, other segments, such as the chorus, are significantly more challenging on the brain.
But the overall message is clear. And that is to take time out of one’s busy schedule to fully enjoy the natural seasons.
Facts about “Sleepwalker”
This song was penned by Brandon Flowers and Jonathan Rado. This is the same pair that wrote most of the tracks featured on “Pressure Machine”. And Rado also produced the entire album (including this song), primarily in conjunction with Shawn Everett.
The aforenoted “Pressure Machine”, along with “Sleepwalker”, was released by Island Records on 13 August 2021.
Some other notable tracks that appear on “Pressure Machine” include the following: