Hey, I'm new here but I just wanted to say that I love this song. Anybody have any thoughts on who he refers to when he says racer number 7?
A few of my friends and I were talking about that very line and we came to this conclusion:
Obviously it's just our opinion but we feel the song is about a Global Awakening of sorts. Generally, people speak of these coming decades as a rebirth of Humanity as we have a bunch of imminent issues that need to be solved (Economic Crises, Global Warming, Transition from Oil to Cleaner Energies, Preservation of Water, Civil Rights issues etc.) so right now we're living in the "Alien Days" VanWynGarden mentioned in a YouTube video titled "Mental Mystics", something about how we're entering a new generation of Love (hence an Awakening- he was probably very high when he said that lol, but it's True).
Some times things work out for us, some times they don't, and sometimes it feels as though all of these problems will always haunt Humanity (the Non-stop Alien Days). the World may not open their eyes until it's already too late (which is what people are afraid of) and it's confusing to Andrew because although a lot of things seem so great around us right now, he knows that there are still a lot of problems to be solved ("It's a blessing but it's also a curse") and he wants to alert himself and people to not give up although times may be uncertain "Today, find infinite ways it could be plenty worse". Especially because most of those problems reveal themselves gradually, like Climate Change/Global Warming and right now everything seems okay "The floodgate Alien Days, I Love those Alien Days"
So, That's basically our analysis of the song. But now getting to the "racer number seven" line, which a lot of people have different interpretations of obviously. I tend to view most of MGMT's lyrics having a symbolic meaning behind them (especially in the second half of Oracular and especially METANOIA onwards) - of course, there's some to be taken literally, but for the most part I feel a lot of it is quite abstract."And when the light is new, the sky shows trembling cartoons, you don't need smoke to cover most of the world in a gloom, and here comes Racer Number Seven, watch my fingers ripping out the Lines, if it looks like we could lose"
What me and my friends got from the conclusion is that he's talking about the end of the Alien Days (obviously, it's the end of the song) and how in this new Age of Information and Immense access to Knowledge, there are basically no secrets anymore as "Truth and Knowledge" can be found just by having an Internet connection or Educated people around you. So by the end of these Fucked up Alien Days there won't be "smoke to cover most of the world in a gloom". But he knows that most people feel that we won't be able to fully change as their are always things stalling progress, so the next line is talking about a smart revolutionary person/concept that will be able to convince people that you don't need material bullshit to be happy. All you need is love, friends, family and to find happiness within yourself.
More specifically with the Seven line, some Shamans/Spiritual Teachers/Mathematicians say the number 7 is a very important number for many reasons but one is that they claim "Seven is the number of the natural world", how there are seven days of the week (and then a rebirth, a new week begins), 7 notes on a musical scale (Diatonic/Major Scale), 7 Colours in the Visible Spectrum of Light (ROYGBIV) (Apparently, Andrew planned to study Natural Sciences and Astronomy before he met Ben, so he definitely knows about dat shyt-it's on Wiki and he talked about it) but most importantly they mention 7 directions:
Left - Right
Up - Down
Front - Back
and the seventh, The Center or "the Middle" of an object (And it's this last piece that unites all of the other ones) -- type in "Significance of the Number Seven" and you'll find dozens of links to this stuff. The main argument is about that is "The connecting of the six attibutes at the center of the shape fundamentally reveals the nature of Seven. It unites them"
So for that line we feel Andrew is symbolically referring to Someone or Something that is able to not just teach someone Up from Down, Left from Right, but teach them about the true nature of themselves, the Inside, forming an Internal Rebirth and once people begin having Internal Rebirths, the World will be ready for a Global Rebirth. So, Racer Number Seven would be this person or concept. The next line would refer to the moment when the World is ready for a Rebirth and to finally change its ways, MGMT will be right behind them and forget about the boundaries of countries and forget about our differences as people ("The Lines dividing us") and UNITE AS ONE "Here comes Racer Number Seven, watch my Fingers Ripping Out the Lines". But only if it looks like we could lose, if we don't do anything and stay trapped within the Alien Days, i.e. a society of judgement etc. So basically I feel this song (like a lot of MGMT's songs) is a social commentary.
Hope this helped!!! And again, it's just our interpretation of this masterpiece of a song, we could be completely wrong as Andrew is such a mind-bending lyricist. Peace!!!