The idea for “Killing Me” actually started from an old-timey piano melody I wrote. My producer Andy Rosen and I really loved the melody and were basing the song around it, but eventually ended up scrapping it because it felt limiting. We kept the vocal parts we’d written and started fresh with new production. A lot of times it can be good to let the song go where it wants, instead of having demo-itis.
Acoustic string instruments are so beautiful to me, and I love playing around and manipulating them with pitch shifts, delays, reverbs, etc. This song has a lot of effected guitar layers mixed with quirky, organic and electronic noises that build and interweave together.
We spliced up and effected a vocal part of mine and turned it into a repeating sound that plays throughout the post chorus. There’s also another vocal that says “blame” over and over in the background, almost inaudibly, like a subliminal message or something. Oh, and at one point we used our hands on cardboard for a percussion part. My hope is that the little details keep people listening to a song because they may, consciously or subconsciously, notice something new each time.
I was listening to a lot of The Velvet Underground around the time of writing this. I’m always inspired by Lou Reed’s vocal rhythms; they’re unexpected and original. All in all, “Killing Me” is about the madness that love causes us to feel when we open ourselves up deeply to someone else, and the strange paradox that those who love you the most can also hurt you the most.