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Silversun Pickups - Panic Switch - Lyrics Meaning

"Panic Switch" is a 2009 single by the Silversun Pickups. The song is the band's first single from their second release "Swoon." The track reached number one on Billboard's Hot Alternative Tracks, number four on Billboard's Top Rock songs, and peaked at number 92 on Billboard's Hot 100. The song has been heard on 90210 and will be featured heavily in WWE's pro wrestling video game - Smackdown vs. Raw 2010.

Singer Brian Aubert has stated that an ongoing theme of the album "Swoon" is a nervous breakdown. "Panic Switch" came into fruition relatively late into that album's framework. In fact, Aubert told MTV News that the rest of the band assumed the album's recording was finished until he came back telling them to fit in one more song. That song ended up being "Panic Switch" and coincidently articulates the nervous breakdown theme better than other tracks. Its confusing lyrics and chaotic tune leaves many listeners feeling like they too have experienced a nervous breakdown. The range of moods and melody in the song is sensory overload to a degree.

Lyrically the song seems to be the frenzied musings of someone in a constant fight to stay sane. The lyrics seem to indicate that the person has obsessive-compulsive tendencies, signs of schizophrenia, and deep-rooted paranoia. There seems to be an obvious anxiety disorder present, as the person seems to be uneasy about their behavior in a crowded setting. They ask themselves whether they'll fall in line with normalcy or if they'll fall victim to some sort of episode or panic attack. The panic switch can be set off anytime and anywhere. There is no facade of control.

The person wants to reclaim his sanity and control what was once his. But the fight has been difficult. You get the sense by the "I'm waiting and fading and floating away" stanza that this person may be medicated or sedated into an altered state of mind.

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