Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O says she’s “fascinated” by popularity of ‘Maps’

"It was like a daydream making that song"

Yeah Yeah YeahsKaren O has discussed her relationship with the band’s hit ‘Maps’, explaining that she remains “fascinated” by the song’s popularity.

Considered a modern indie classic, the NYC trio’s 2003 single appeared on their seminal debut album, ‘Fever To Tell‘, and remains a staple of their live performances.

Speaking on BBC Radio 6’s The First Time, frontwoman O looked back on penning ‘Maps’ and explained how she feels about it in 2019. “I’m fascinated by it, I really am,” she told host Matt Everitt.


“I’m endlessly curious about that song because it’s just strange to me. It was one of the earliest songs that we wrote for the [first] record. I remember it was like a daydream making that song; it just happened so kinda effortlessly and so incidentally.”

Explaining that the track was born from a sample created by guitarist Nick Zinner, the singer added that she heard her bandmate playing the part in his room, before the idea rapidly evolved into the fully-formed song.

UK festivals 2018
Yeah Yeah Yeahs live at All Points East 2018. Credit: Andy Ford

“I was walking past his door, I heard the sample and came in and I was like, ‘What is that?’ And then five minutes later I was singing basically the lyrics to it and then it was there,” O said. “It was like one of those songs that wrote itself in like five minutes.”

She added: “And then yeah, it’s done pretty well for itself since then [Laughs]. It’s a love song, and there’s just not a lot of bands that have one of their biggest songs as a love song. So I’m pretty stoked about that, too.”


‘Maps’ landed at Number 1 in NME‘s list of YYY’s 10 best songs last year and was described as “a heart-warming, truly beautiful track”.

Despite playing a handful of live dates recently, Yeah Yeah Yeahs haven’t released an album since 2013’s ‘Mosquito‘. Last summer, O gave an update on the progress of their next LP – explaining she was waiting on “getting struck by inspiration for it”.

Earlier this year, Karen O teamed up with Danger Mouse for the collaborative album ‘Lux Prima’.

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