The track was premiered live when the US band headlined Madrid’s Mad Cool Festival last month, slotting between their celebrated anthems like “Somebody Told Me” and “Runaways.”
Written before the songs that made up Pressure Machine, the themes explored in “boy” helped lead frontman and principal songwriter Brandon Flowers to the subjects that would eventually be the focus of that record.
“This was the first song written after we had to cancel the Imploding The Mirage tour due to the pandemic,” Flowers explained in a press release. “I had recently moved back to Utah and started to make trips to Nephi, where I grew up. I found that the place I had wanted to get away from so desperately at 16 was now a place that I couldn’t stop returning to.
“I have a son approaching the age I was at that time in my life. With ‘boy’, I want to reach out and tell myself – and my sons – to not overthink it. And to look for the ‘white arrows’ in their lives. For me now, white arrows are my wife, children, my songs and the stage.”
“White arrows will break/The black night,” Flowers sings over glittering new wave guitars. “But don’t overthink it, boy/And when you’re out on the ledge, please come down boy/There is a place that exists, just give it some time.”
The frontman previously spoke to NME about the new song at Mad Cool, saying: “What’s interesting is that it just didn’t make it onto [Pressure Machine] – but its absence is not a reflection of the quality of the song. It was an aesthetic decision to keep it off the record. There’s an optimism to it. It’s in the dust, it’s in the gutter, and it’s looking at the stars. It’s writing in more of a new wave vehicle.”
Upon its release last August, Pressure Machine gave The Killers their seventh consecutive No.1 UK album. It outsold the rest of the Top Five on the chart that week combined and racked up over 25,000 chart sales.