It’s the spookiest time of year, so I’ve been considering a post about my favorite spooky music videos. I obviously revisited the Tim Burton-directed clip for “Bones” by the Killers. And once I did, I couldn’t stop thinking about that chorus.
I absolutely love the Killers, and one of my favorite things about them is their willingness to just get oddball every once in a while. (See: Sawdust hidden track “The Captain” or Battle Born bonus track “Prize Fighter.”) My chief complaint with their trajectory, in fact, is that they have gotten less weird and more sentimental as time has gone on.
But hear me out: maybe they haven’t gotten less weird. Maybe they have gotten better at hiding the fact that they are aliens. Or at least their frontman Brandon Flowers is.
I think it’s an option we need to consider, so let’s look at the evidence hiding in plain sight in their lyrics.
We’ll start with the song that got me on this theory. “Don’t you wanna come with me / Don’t you wanna feel my bones on your bones? / It’s only natural,” goes the deeply unnatural chorus of this Sam’s Town track. Imagine these words as an alien in a human suit trying to write a love song and it makes a lot more sense. “Down to the ocean, it’s only water and sand” proposes the narrator, who has presumably just learned about Earth habitats, “and in the ocean, we’ll hold hands.” Usually, couples walk along the beach holding hands and don’t wade out to the ocean specifically to do so. You’re close but I’m still onto you, Flowers.
“Somebody Told Me”
The confusion was there from the start. The Killers’ breakthrough single, “Somebody Told Me,” has a famously cryptic lyric in the chorus: “Somebody told me that you had a boyfriend who looked like a girlfriend that I had in February of last year.” Did these two date the same person, who is perhaps non-binary or trans? Is one or both parties bisexual and the shared love interests were androgynous? I’m firmly on record as believing that the Killers should be more gay, so I like these gender-bendy explanations. But perhaps the truth here is simple: Brandon Flowers thinks her boyfriend looks like his ex-girlfriend because he thinks all humans look alike. He simply cannot detect subtle differences in our species.
“Smile Like You Mean It”
This song is fantastic, but you have to admit that the lyrics could have been written by an alien. We simply can’t rule out the possibility! This song opens with the lines “Save some face / You know you’ve only got one.” It’s exactly how an alien would try to work in the expression “save face.” Perhaps the alien known as Brandon Flowers just heard it for the first time and thought, “What a wise human idiom. They need to preserve their faces. They’re not disposable, as they each have but the single face. I shall write a song: save some face. You know, as I also do, that you’ve only got one. As we all do. Here on this planet.”
This song was cut from Sam’s Town — perhaps for revealing too much! — but appeared on both the Spider-Man 3 soundtrack and their B-sides album Sawdust. There’s a lot here. In the second verse, Flowers sings “Oh, what a world that we both come in,” making me wonder if this is a song about an alien partner who came with him to Earth. The chorus confirms it: “These eyes don’t see,” he sings. “Take your skin off when you listen to me.” A normal human thing to say to your significant other! Later in the song, Flowers repeats “I wanna jump out of my skin” over and over. Clearly he was getting tired of this human ruse and longed to return to his true form. Sure, they tried to justify this song’s theme, sending it off to be used in a movie about an extraterrestrial symbiote taking over Spider-Man and creating Venom. But when you look at this song in context of the rest of the band’s canon, it is truly damning.
“Human” and “Spaceman”
Come on. This is slam dunk. Something very interesting happened with the Killers’ third studio album, Day & Age. They decided to address the elephant (alien) in the room. Brandon Flowers described the album as “Sam’s Town viewed from Mars” and they wrote some very on-the-nose songs for aliens trying to live undercover as human rock stars. “Are we human?” they ask on the album’s lead single. They’re just taunting us now! But then on “Spaceman,” the narrator describes an alien abduction (much more successfully than Katy Perry, I might add). We’re supposed to think that this album is fascinated with space because the band learned about it secondhand. From aliens. They are not themselves aliens. They just know about them from that common human experience, getting abducted by aliens. I think that’s a very alien thing to think is a normal thing to write a song about! The video kicks ass, though. Aliens or not, these fellas know how to put on a show.
Did you know that the Killers recorded a song for Yo Gabba Gabba! called “Spaceship Adventure”?!?!? Did you?? The entire song coaxes the impressionable young listeners to “come with us” on a thrilling ride through the galaxy. THEY ARE TRYING TO ABDUCT OUR CHILDREN, PEOPLE!
They make it sound like a fun time, but we have no idea if they have a more sinister purpose in mind. They could be cold-blooded… Killers, oh my GOD. The danger was lurking right on the surface all along!! Are we all taking this seriously yet?
“Flesh and Bone”
And back to being very obvious with these song titles. On Battle Born, the Killers dropped the space theme to again pass themselves off as normal Nevadan citizens, perhaps realizing that they’d gone too far with their obvious abduction propaganda. “What are you made of?” Flowers sings over and over in the opening track. “Flesh and bone!” Sure, buddy. I think the space being doth protest too much.
In conclusion, thank you for joining me on what some will certainly call “my stupidest post yet.” I think we can mostly agree this was a chilling look at solid evidence of aliens living among us, climbing our charts and plotting to steal our children. Obviously I’m still going to listen to them, because their songs slap, but it’s pretty disturbing regardless!