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Meaning of the song ‘Out Loud’ by ‘Cage The Elephant’

Released: 2024

“Out Loud” by Cage The Elephant is a gritty, raw dive into the themes of regret, self-reflection, and the longing for redemption. The lyrics take us on an emotional journey, portraying the protagonist’s struggle with past decisions, the high of escaping, and the sobering reality of facing oneself. It’s a rock anthem that resonates with anyone who’s ever felt the weight of their choices and the desire for a second chance.

The song kicks off with a vivid image: “With angry wings, I flew out of that town / Promised you I’d never turn around.” Here, “angry wings” symbolizes a desperate, almost reckless, need to escape from one’s circumstances or problems, hinting at a troubled past or a situation that the protagonist felt compelled to leave behind. This first verse sets the tone for the song, one of urgency and evasion, coupled with a promise of never looking back, suggesting a strained relationship or unfulfilled commitments.

As the narrative unfolds, the song delves into the heady mix of emotions and substances that fueled the protagonist’s departure: “Cocaine buzz and a caffeine high / Open all the windows under midnight skies.” This line paints a picture of someone running not just from their problems, but also seeking an escape through substance use, searching for freedom in the thrill of the night and the open road. However, this freedom is fleeting, as the protagonist admits, “Man, I really messed up now,” a raw acknowledgment of regret and self-doubt.

The heart of the song lies in the chorus, where the protagonist confesses, “Too afraid to say it out loud / I can barely breathe whom I’m tryna be / I’m still tryna figure it out.” Here, Cage The Elephant explores the internal struggle of identity and the fear of expressing vulnerability. “I can barely breathe whom I’m tryna be” suggests a suffocating battle with self-identity, highlighting the difficulty in reconciling who one is with who they want to be. The repeated line “Man, I really messed up now” serves as a gut-punching mantra of self-realization and remorse.

In a change of pace, the protagonist reveals, “Clipped those wings and I came back home / Tried my best just to carry on.” Returning home signifies an attempt at facing the problems they once fled from, a theme many can resonate with. The mention of “stick and poke tattoos” adds a layer of permanence to the protagonist’s experiences—metaphorical scars that serve as reminders of the past, yet “meant nothing to me / As far as east to west and not a memory,” indicating a desire to distance oneself from these painful reminders.

Ultimately, “Out Loud” is a powerful exploration of the human condition, addressing themes of escape, the intoxicating and fleeting nature of freedom, and the inevitable confrontation with one’s self and past. Cage The Elephant masterfully captures the essence of rock music’s ability to convey deep, emotive storytelling, making listeners reflect on their own lives and decisions. The song stands as a testament to the complexities of growing up, making mistakes, and the continuous journey of self-discovery and redemption.

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