“Ignorance is bliss" TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe sings with a a mixture of subtly mirthful indifference, a world-weary heartache and sighing resignation during the refrain of “Happy Idiot,” the first single from the Brooklyn-based quartet in about three years — and the first single off the band’s first full-length album in three years, the forthcoming Seeds (which is slated for a November 18 release).
Since the band’s formation back in 2001, TV on the Radio has developed a reputation for some of the most challenging, thoughtful and ambitious work both sonically and lyrically in contemporary music and “Happy Idiot” further cements that, thanks to frenetically-paced four-on-the-flour drums. swirling electronics, looped samples and a guitar line that slashes through the mix at crazy angles. In some way, the track bears a resemblance to New Order but with a sensibility that’s so fatalistic that it strangely feels sort of absurd and menacing.
In some way, the track much like their previous releases reveals a band that’s continually shifting it’s focus, sensibility and sound. And much like their previous releases, this is a song that reveals itself on multiple listens — and manages to create a multitude of interpretations depending on your mood.
The official video stars Paul Reubens, best known to anyone in their 30s and 40s as Pee Wee Herman as a race car driver who slowly starts to lose his mind. And he sees visions of Karen Gilliam of Doctor Who and Guardians of the Galaxy fame doing some very strange things while occasionally being accompanied but he members of TV on the Radio dressed in resplendent white suits.