Slow Hands by Interpol Lyrics Meaning – Navigating the Emotional Wasteland

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Interpol's Slow Hands at
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning


Yeah, but nobody searches
Nobody cares somehow
When the loving that you’ve wasted
Comes raining from a hapless cloud
And I might stop and look upon your face
Disappear in the sweet, sweet gaze
See the living that surrounds me
Dissipate in a violet blaze

Can’t you see what you’ve done to my heart
And soul?
This is a wasteland now

We spies
We slow hands
Put the weights around yourself
We spies, oh yeah
We slow hands
You put the weights all around yourself now

I submit my incentive is romance
I watched the pole dance of the stars
We rejoice because the hurting is so painless
From the distance of passing cars
But I am married to your charms and grace
I just go crazy like the good old days
You make me want to pick up a guitar
And celebrate the myriad ways that I love you

Can you see what you’ve done to my heart
And soul?
This is a wasteland now

We spies, yeah
We slow hands
You put the weights around yourself
We spies, oh yeah
We slow hands
Killer, for hire you know not yourself

We spies
We slow hands
You put the weights all around yourself
We spies, oh yeah
We slow hands
We retire like nobody else
We spies
Intimate slow hands killer
For hire you know not yourself
We spies
Intimate slow hands
You let the face slap around herself

Full Lyrics

In an era teeming with anthemic choruses and attention-grabbing hooks, Interpol’s ‘Slow Hands’ stands out as a labyrinth of emotional complexity and elusive storytelling. The song is a masterpiece of indie rock, resonating with a sense of deep introspection and psychological nuance that invites listeners to unravel its core.

Despite its seemingly cryptic lyricism, ‘Slow Hands’ crafts a narrative rich in metaphor and symbolism that boldly tackles the themes of love, loss, and the haunting inertia of unrequited emotions. It’s a journey into the heart of darkness within relationships, and a critical examination of the self-inflicted weights we bear.

The Wasteland of the Heart: Interpol’s Dissection of Lost Love

With the declaration, ‘This is a wasteland now,’ the song propels us into the stark aftermath of a deteriorated relationship. The imagery of love wasted and emotions raining from ‘a hapless cloud’ serves as a sorrowful backdrop to the personal devastation experienced by the narrator.

The languid repetition of ‘wasteland’ is more than mere hyperbole; it’s a meticulous choice that evokes T.S. Eliot’s Modernist despair and an existential desolation. Interpol taps into this despondency, using it as a vehicle to explore the disillusionment that follows when the currency of love is devalued by carelessness.

A Spy In The House Of Love: Unpacking the ‘We Spies’

‘We spies’ suggests subterfuge, a theme that permeates the song and underscores a subtext of surveillance and guarded emotions. The slow hands of the title, then, become agents of a cautious, deliberate love – one that measures out affection sparingly, under the guise of self-protection.

There’s an element of deep irony in likening oneself to a spy in matters of the heart. It’s a startling admission of the duplicity we exhibit when we guard our true feelings, weaving a web in which both parties are entangled and neither truly knows the other.

The Seductive Weight of Emotional Burdens

The recurring imagery of ‘put the weights around yourself’ could be interpreted as the heavy armor worn to deflect vulnerability. In the context of the song, these weights are both protection and imprisonment, signifying the self-imposed barriers to genuine connection.

The tension here is palpable, as is the self-awareness. The act of entwining oneself with these emotional weights is at once a knowing sacrifice and a regrettable consequence of desire— a fitting metaphor for love’s often self-sabotaging complexity.

The Violet Blaze of Existence: A Song’s Hidden Lyrical Gem

Interpol’s lyricism is a tapestry threaded with enigma and poise. The phrase ‘dissipate in a violet blaze’ stands as one of the most potent lines within ‘Slow Hands.’ It is the moment of epiphany, where the living that surrounds the narrator burns away in an almost apocalyptic beauty.

The word choice is particularly striking, with ‘violet’ conjuring images of the final streaks of sunlight as day gives way to night, symbolizing the transition from clarity to the unknown. Within this blaze, the ephemeral nature of life and love is illuminated and embraced.

The ‘Killer’ Within: Interpol’s Dance with Self-Destruction

As ‘Slow Hands’ snakes towards its close, the introduction of ‘Killer, for hire you know not yourself’ casts a foreboding shadow over the narrative. It is here that Interpol confronts identity and acknowledges the destructive tendencies inherent within all of us, especially in the throes of passion and despair.

This acknowledgment of the internal assassin of our better natures acts as both confessional and caution. It’s a chilling reminder of the capacity we harbor for self-destruction in the pursuit of love, culminating in the haunting recognition that in the grand theater of human affection, we often play roles both dangerous and unknown to ourselves.

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