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Tessellate Lyrics

Bite chunks out of me
You're a shark and I'm swimming
My heart still thumps as I bleed
And all your friends come sniffing.

Triangles are my favourite shape
Three points where two lines meet.
Toe to toe, back to back, let's go
My love it's very late.
'Til morning comes, let's tessellate.

Go alone my flower
And keep my whole lovely you.
Wild green stones alone my lover
And keep us on my heart.

Three guns and one goes off - one's empty - one's not quick enough
One burn - one red - one grin
Search the graves while the camera spins.
Chunks of you will sink down to seals
Blubber rich in mourning.
They'll nosh you up, yes they'll nosh the love away, but it's fair to say
You will still haunt me.

Triangles are my favourite shape
Three points where two lines meet.
Toe to toe, back to back, let's go
My love it's very late.
'Til morning comes, let's tessellate.
Song Info
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Submitted on
May 21, 2012
31 Meanings
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I had an epiphany. A woman wants to get back at her husband, so she cheats with some guy (forming the triangle). She bites chunks out of this guy (uses him to get her husband jealous). The poor guy is in love with her but she still loves her husband and has no plans on leaving her husband for this poor guy. Why would she? Her husband is wealthy and her home is lavish. What can this poor guy offer her...nothing. He's handsome and intelligent but doesn't have the money to keep up with this woman's wants and needs. She chews him up and spits him out.

She is reveling in the love triangle; it's her saying, "triangles are my favorite shape..." She loves the game. She gets back at her husband, while she enjoys the sexual fling with this poor guy.

But her plan doesn't quite turn in her favor. While she enjoys the game, her husband doesn't. He is uncontrollable jealous when he finds out. What does he do? He kills her and throws in an ocean. She becomes seafood.

Well the poor guy who really loved her, despite her using him in her game, is haunted by her disappearance. He thinks of her and still desires her, even though he wasn't anything special to him and still had her allegiance to her husband.

So in the end the one burns (the poor guy), one red (the cunning and beautiful woman), one grins (the husband who shoots his wife to avenge her infidelity.)

The poor guy goes back to his hum drum life, the husband probably goes to jail, and the wife is devoured by seals.

I wonder if triangles are still her favorite shape?

My Interpretation

damn thats some elaborate epiphany

So the three guns and one goes off (being the husband's), one's empty (being the poor man because he never intended to hurt anyone in the first place), and one's not quick enough (being the woman's because she intended to get rid of the poor man before her husband found out but it was too late). This is a really elaborate epiphany and it definitely helped me understand the song.

@kkw I enjoy your thoughts. I have a question though. The way they describe the triangle is '3 points where 2 lines meet' meaning there are 3 points and the point is formed when two 'lines' collide. Now if we are to assume that these lines are the different characters, according to your interpretation one point would be created when the wife and the other guy do their thing,and another point is created when the husband the kills the wife. This leaves one last point though, where the husband should interact with the other guy. What do you make...

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"Three guns and one goes off, one's empty, one's not quick enough."

This is a reference to "The Good The Bad and The Ugly" right?

Absolutely.

"Search the graves while the camera spins" nails it. If you haven't seen this scene go check it out, classic cinema.

Thank god someone else realizes all the references to this film. The first half of the chorus is clearly the final showdown in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. "One burn, one red, one grin." If you think about it, Tuco gets burned because his gun is not loaded, Angel Eyes is dead, and Blondie is grinning because he bested both of them.

Glad I came here, because I had no idea what this song meant! Now it makes sense....thanks, guys:)

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The lines about triages got me for so long. I was like, wait, that does not a triangle make! Then I realized that my perspective was off. It doesn't say that there are two lines in a triangle. It is referencing the individual points, in a triangle there are 3 points, each one where two lines meet. Quite a deep way to express a love triangle.

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The first stanza is obviously about some serious argument. In the midst or the aftermath of the argument, either she complains to her friends or they were observers, so they were "sniffing" around

"Triangles are my favorite shape Three points where two lines meet." That is not a full triangle. I will interpret it as both an incomplete triangle and the 'delta' symbol. He's very sarcastic at this point (esp after talking about arguing). It's not his favorite shape and that it sucks to be in a triangle where the love is one-sided. There's also a period of change (hence the delta symbol), and he's still being sarcastic about how he loves this change

"Toe to toe, back to back, let's go" Toe to toe like in a competition, the fight is back to back. "My love it's very late." His love came late, his realization of his mistakes came late. "'Til morning comes, let's tessellate." So they argue all night long (tessellating being the repetition of something, something monotonous, and for the most part, one would gloss over as being not that important like the tessellation of tiles on the floor or the walls)

"Go alone my flower And keep my whole lovely you." So leave now while he still remembers her for what he's loved, not this distorted vile being.

"Wild green stones alone my lover And keep us on my heart." Green with envy as she leaves (for she will probably end up with the other guy in the love triangle), he still keeps what they were in his heart

"Three guns and one goes off, one's empty, one's not quick enough One burn, one red, one grin" NOTE: I don't think he says 'grin', i think it's 'green' In the love triangle, she goes off (burn) and completely burns their ties. One's empty (red), which is the other guy, who's not really even in this situation (argument). One's not quick enough (green); he's green with envy and he wasn't quick enough to secure their love.

"Search the graves while the camera spins." He searches for what's already dead while he reminisces through photos.

"Chunks of you will sink down to seals" He slowly tries to suppress his thoughts about her. "Blubber rich in mourning." He eats to forget "They'll nosh you up, yes they'll nosh the love away, but it's fair to say You will still haunt me." He's made the action of eating to forget in the form of a third person because at this point, he's not aware of what he's doing anymore. The seals are responsible for eating for him. They will slowly eat the love away, but the thought of her will always still haunt him.

My Interpretation

"Three points where two lines meet" is actually a full triangle. Each point of the triangle (3 points there) have two lines that meat at the point. So for every point, two lines meet.

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Love triangles, eh? What if one of the three points broke into the apartment of the other two, and then breezeblocks happened?

That's what I thought, too. I wonder if those two songs connect to a third as well? "My heart still thumps as I bleed, And all your friends come sniffing" so the woman in the apartment is hurt and confused, being tied up by the sniffing "friend" who is also hurt. "My love, it's very late" the tied woman has to wait a long time for the husband to come back. "Go alone my flower" husband confronts the intruder without the bound woman's help "three guns and one goes off, one's empty, one's not quick enough" bound woman cant do anything, and the...

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It's about sex.

Song Meaning

So I've heard, but I can't make it out in these lyrics.

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I've seen him comment on his own song on SoundCloud and he said it's about the remaining flame of a past love. Really beautiful once you look at it that way. Great artist.

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“Tessellate is about the lingering of an old flame and the physical intimacy shared with that particular individual. ” - Alt-J's comment on the song on their sound cloud page soundcloud.com/alt-j/comments

Song Meaning
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Okay I've cracked it.

The premise is that the narrator has had an affair, creating a love triangle and the first stanza is his spouse's initial reaction to this discovery.

"Bite chunks out of me - He acknowledges and accepts. You're a shark and I'm swimming - She's looking to attack him. My heart still thumps as I bleed - He still feels something for her despite this. And all your friends come sniffing." - Their argument is overheard by her friends.

"Triangles are my favorite shape - Narrator explains he enjoys love triangles. Three points where two lines meet. Toe to toe, back to back, let's go - They argue back at home. My love it's very late. - The narrator becomes weary and lovesick. 'Til morning comes, let's tessellate." - He asks to spend one last night with her before she leaves him. One more night fitting perfectly together as a couple, tessellating.

"Go alone my flower - He tells her to leave him. And keep my whole lovely you. Wild green stones alone my lover - He watches her go with wild, jealous eyes. And keep us on my heart." - He will always keep their relationship in his heart.

"Three guns and one goes off, one's empty, one's not quick enough One burn, one red, one grin Search the graves while the camera spins. - These three lines describe the climax of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly; the girlfriend is the good, the narrator is the ugly and the bad is the 3rd person. This is because the girl is gone and the narrator is searching for something of value among "graves". Chunks of you will sink down to seals - The seals represent her friends. Blubber rich in mourning. They'll nosh you up, yes they'll nosh the love away, but it's fair to say - Her friends make her forget about the love she felt for the narrator. You will still haunt me." - Even if they make her forget him, he will never forget her.

"Triangles are my favorite shape Three points where two lines meet. Toe to toe, back to back, let's go My love it's very late. 'Til morning comes, let's tessellate." - The fact that this stanza is repeated shows that the narrator is thinking twice about his decision, it is possible he no longer prefers triangles.

Song Meaning
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Not sure what exactly this song means, but the verb "tessellate" means to fit perfectly two or more identical shapes. That could refer to how he and his lover are a perfect match for each other, but I think it's more likely to be a covert sex reference (seen as he says "til morning comes, let's tessellate" ie let's have sex). Makes sense too seen as its a very sensual song :)

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