Meaning of “Black Out Days” by Phantogram

Written By Michael Miller

Michael is a music teacher and professional cellist. He loves uncovering the deeper meaning of popular songs.

“Black Out Days” by Phantogram is a haunting expression of someone’s struggle with memories, internal conflicts, and potentially, trauma. The lyrics convey a strong desire to erase painful memories, trying to keep away from things or people that trigger them. There’s an intense need to distance oneself, symbolized by the repeated line “Stay away, away, away.” The chorus speaks of ‘black out days,’ possibly referencing days when the singer feels lost, disconnected, or overwhelmed by internal chaos.

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“Black Out Days” Lyrics Meaning

“Stay away, away, away

Hide the sun”

Here, there’s a plea to stay away, as if the sun, often symbolic of hope or clarity, is too much. This might indicate the desire to remain in the shadows, away from painful truths or memories.

“I will leave your face out of my mind

You should save your eyes”

The singer talks about deliberately trying to forget someone or something. The line “You should save your eyes” hints at regret or warning, possibly suggesting that seeing can lead to more pain.

“A thousand voices howling in my head

Speak in tongues”

This speaks of mental turmoil, chaos, and being overwhelmed by thoughts or memories. The term “speak in tongues” adds a sense of incomprehensibility, amplifying the confusion.

“I don’t even recognize your face

Mirror on the wall”

Beyond the literal meaning of not recognizing someone, it can also imply not recognizing oneself. This self-alienation and loss of identity can result from traumatic experiences.

“Dig a hole

Fireworks exploding in my hands”

Here, there’s a sense of wanting to bury or hide away. The fireworks could be metaphorical for sudden, uncontrollable bursts of emotion or memories.

“If I could paint the sky

Well all the stars would shine a bloody red”

This powerful imagery of a bloody red sky might symbolize anger, pain, or dramatic emotional upheavals.

“Black out days

I don’t recognize you anymore”

‘Black out days’ possibly signify times when one is overwhelmed, lost in the darkness of their mind, or days they’d rather forget. The repetition of not recognizing implies a growing distance, either from others or oneself.

Why Was “Black Out Days” Written?

The emotional intensity of “Black Out Days” hints at a deep personal experience. Given the evocative nature of Phantogram’s music, it’s likely that the songwriters were channeling raw emotions and memories. The song captures the essence of dealing with trauma, pain, and the sometimes desperate need to escape haunting memories. It’s a powerful commentary on how we try to cope, sometimes wanting to erase parts of our past to find peace. While it’s unclear if the song stems from a specific event in the songwriter’s life, the emotions are universal, resonating with anyone who has battled with inner demons or a turbulent past.