TV on the Radio’s New Song Is Their Best In Years

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Sept. 2 2014 2:03 PM

TV on the Radio’s New Song Is Their Best In Years

83030004-on-the-radio-ramene-sa-science-photo-taken-on-august-25
Hear the high-energy first single from TV on the Radio's upcoming album.

Photo by STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images

In the three years since TV on the Radio’s last album, we’ve heard just two new songs, the rocking “Mercy” and the soulful “Million Miles” (both released back in 2013). But it appears neither of those songs will appear on the beloved Brooklyn band’s upcoming fifth album, Seeds, out Nov. 10. Today they’ve announced that its first single will instead be “Happy Idiot,” a high-energy track that has TV on the Radio sounding sharper than they have in years.

“Happy Idiot” is more new wave than much of the band’s previous work, sounding like a mix of Joy Division and The Police, while still retaining the melancholy feeling that TV on the Radio have made one of their staples. The lyrics lament a failed relationship (“I’m a happy idiot to keep my mind off you”) but the song disguises the full extent of that heartbreak with an uptempo guitar line and lush production. Hopefully we’ll get to hear more of the new album when the band opens for the legendary Massive Attack at the Santa Barbara Bowl next month and then sets off across North America on a solo tour. “Happy Idiot” is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Dee Lockett is Slate's editorial assistant for culture.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
  Technology
Technocracy
Oct. 20 2014 11:36 PM Forget Oculus Rift This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual-reality experience.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.