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

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.

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