Since TV on the Radio’s formation in 2001, the band has developed a reputation for restless experimentalism and some of the most challenging, thoughtful material in contemporary indie rock, and arguably they may be among the most sonically and lyrically ambitious to boot. And yet, they’ve simultaneously managed to do all of that while being accessible in a manner reminiscent of The Talking Heads, Radiohead and others.
Based on the release of “Happy Idiot,” the first single off the band’s forthcoming album Seeds, the Brooklyn-based band has lately been obsessed with nuance, mood and texture, which may arguably give some of their material a very painterly feel. Whereas the first single off Seeds consisted of frenetically-paced four-on-the-flour drums. swirling electronics, looped samples and a guitar line that slashes through the mix at crazy angles in a way that bore a resemblance to New Order, “Careful You,” the album’s latest single is much more atmospheric. Consisting of pulsating and buzzing synths and swirling electronics, the instrumentation manages to emphasizes the hurt, anguish and vulnerability in Tunde Adembipe’s vocals.
In some way the song focuses on the array of confusing thoughts and emotions that come up both during the beginning and end of a relationship – the familiar mixture of hope, regret, confusion, uncertainty and longing.