TV on the Radio (formed 2001)
TV on the Radio is an American alternative rock band, from New York City. The lineup of the band consists of David Sitek on guitars, keyboards and loops, Tunde Adebimpe on vocals and loops, Kyp Malone on vocals, guitars and loops, Gerard Smith on bass and keyboards and Jaleel Bunton on drums. The band incorporate elements of a number of different genres, including post-punk, free jazz, soul, electro and shoegaze. In addition to the main band members, TV on the Radio also occasionally features visiting members such as Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead, David Bowie, Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Perna of Antibalas.
TV on the Radio: Musical Career
The title of TV on the Radio's debut release made a tongue-in-cheek reference to Radiohead's OK Computer. OK Calculator contained obvious influences of hip-hop and electronica and at the time that it was made, the band consisted solely of Adebimpe and Sitek. Kyp Malone then joined the band and in 2003, they released the Young Liars EP, which was lauded by the music press.
The band's debut album, Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes won them the Shortlist Music Prize in 2004. Later that year, they released another EP, entitled New Health Rock.
TV on the Radio's second album Return to Cookie Mountain was scheduled for release in the US and Canada in September 2006 and overseas in July 2006. However, the album was released on the Internet much earlier in the year. Despite this, the album still sold well and music websites such as Pitchfork Media heaped praise on the recordings, which were released on Interscope Records. Spin magazine named Return to Cookie Mountain their Album of the Year in 2006.
Two years later, Dear Science was released. TV on the Radio's second album was also leaked on the internet prior to its official release. This time, the list of media outlets naming the album as their favourite of the year spread to Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, The Guardian, Pitchfork Media and MTV.
TV on the Radio appeared on a number of high profile television shows to promote the album, including Later. with Jools Holland in the UK and The Late Show with David Letterman in the US, on which they played the track 'Dancing Choose'.
Their songs have been used in a number of films and TV shows, including 'Wolf Like Me', which featured on the Never Back Down, film soundtrack and the snowboard film Optimistic? 'Halfway Home' was also featured on the soundtrack to the popular UK teen show Skins.
Dave Sitek has worked with a number of bands as a producer. Some of the bands that he has worked with include Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Liars, Foals and Telepathe.
Album number five from Brooklyn's TV On The Radio finds the band in a surprisingly upbeat mood. On the surface, it's a more consistent and polished set of songs than I was expecting. While it doesn't quite reach the heights of 2008's 'Dear Science', there's much to get lost in here. It's perhaps less experimental than usual, but there's something effective about the blend of synthpop and garage rock here.
Much has been written about the loss of bassist Gerard Smith to lung cancer in 2011 and the subsequent impact on this new material. While I've no doubt Smith's death informed the writing process, it's also not immediately obvious while listening to 'Seeds'. As the title suggests, this is somewhat of a re-birth for TV On The Radio, but rather than sounding like a tortured transformation, there's a joyous, defiant and almost religious undercurrent.
The opening bars of 'Quartz' play like a Gregorian chant, a theme which Tunde Adebimpe picks up later during 'Winter' when he exclaims: "This is my confession". On 'Right Now' he observes: "I see you praying on the dancefloor, see you moving so inspired. It's got me wondering what you're asking for?" Then on 'Trouble' he tells us: "The Devil has got my number", this is a man with spiritual issues on his mind. 'Seeds' is also an album of two very distinct halves. The opening six songs concentrate more on the band's electronic tendencies, layering unique sounds over strong beats. There's a unifying theme of the complexities of love to these songs, but rather than languishing in introspection, they're propelled along by the varied percussion. Even the sole guitar led track on the album's first half, 'Could You', which sounds like a lost sixties pop song, has a sense of urgency provided by the rhythm section and added brass.
Continue reading: TV On The Radio - Seeds Album Review
Ahead of the release of their latest album 'Seeds', TV On The Radio hit the UK for a one-off show.
TV On The Radio return with their fifth studio album this Autumn entitled 'Seeds', and will be hitting London for a one-off, intimate show over at the restaurant/bar Oslo in Hackney next week.
TV On The Radio will release Seeds November 17
For a chance to see the Brooklyn rockers perform a very exclusive live session in the UK's capital, all fans have to do is pre-order the new album before 5pm today (October 20th 2014) and they'll be given access to the tickets pre-sale which starts tomorrow. Hopeful attendees can risk it, of course, with tickets still set to be made available in the full sale, but given the exclusivity of the tickets, it's definitely worth ordering 'Seeds' for a better chance.
Continue reading: TV On The Radio Announce Intimate UK Gig
31st July, 2015