"The Adults Are Talking" is an idiom used when the grown-ups tell the children to be quiet as they're discussing something important. During this taut rocker, Julian Casablancas likens the phrase to the relationship between the powerful and the powerless. We can't help it if we are a problem We are tryin' hard to get your attention I'm climbin' up your wall The exact meaning is ambiguous, but a possible interpretation is Casablancas is talking about the division between the politicians (the adults) and the common people (the kids).
The Strokes premiered the song during a May 13, 2019 charity show at The Wiltern in Los Angeles benefitting the homeless.
The Strokes performed this song on the October 31, 2020 episode of Saturday Night Live. It marked the group's fourth appearance on the show and their first in nine years. The New York quintet also played another The New Abnormal track, "Bad Decisions."
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