TV on the Radio

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TV on the Radio
TV on the Radio 2008 Treasure Island Music Festival cropped.jpg
TV on the Radio performing at the 2008 Treasure Island Festival
Background information
Origin Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Genres Art rock, indie rock, alternative rock, experimental rock
Years active 2001–present
Labels Federal Prism
Touch and Go Records
Associated acts Celebration, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, David Bowie, Dragons of Zynth, Nine Inch Nails, Iran, Maximum Balloon, Rain Machine, Higgins Waterproof Black Magic Band
Members Tunde Adebimpe
David Sitek
Kyp Malone
Jaleel Bunton
Past members Gerard Smith

TV on the Radio is an American art rock band formed in 2001 in Brooklyn, New York, whose music spans many diverse genres, from post-punk to electro to soul music.

The group has released several EPs including their debut Young Liars (2003), and four critically acclaimed studio albums: Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes (2004), Return to Cookie Mountain (2006), Dear Science (2008), and Nine Types of Light (2011).

For the bulk of the band's existence, the core TV on the Radio lineup has been Tunde Adebimpe (vocals/loops), David Andrew Sitek (guitars/keyboards/loops), Kyp Malone (vocals/guitars/bass/loops), Jaleel Bunton (drums/vocals/loops/guitars) and Gerard Smith (bass/keyboards) as official members. In Summer 2013, the band released the singles "Mercy" and "Million Miles", their first releases since Nine Types of Light.

Other contributors have included David Bowie, Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Peter Murphy of Bauhaus, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead, Martin Perna of Antibalas and Katrina Ford of Celebration.


The first release from TV on the Radio (initially just founding members Adebimpe and Sitek) was the self-released OK Calculator (the title being a reference to Radiohead's album OK Computer[1]) They were later joined by Kyp Malone, and released the Young Liars EP in 2003 to critical acclaim. This was followed by the full-length Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes which earned the band the 2004 Shortlist Music Prize. They released a second EP, New Health Rock, later that year.

Their third album, Return to Cookie Mountain, leaked in early 2006 and garnered pre-release praise from such outlets as Pitchfork Media[2] before its official release in July overseas. U.S. and Canadian release was in September on Interscope. The album received critical acclaim after its release from many sources, including Spin magazine which named Return to Cookie Mountain its Album of the Year for 2006.[3] The album features guest appearances from David Bowie, Omega Moon, Celebration, Dragons of Zynth, Martin Perna and Stuart D. Bogie of Antibalas, Blonde Redhead, Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Nick Zinner. Bowie contributed back-up vocals on the song "Province". In promotion of the album, the band performed " Wolf Like Me" on the Late Show with David Letterman, which has garnered over 2 million views on YouTube.[4] During the U.S. tour, the band performed a few covers with Bauhaus singer Peter Murphy and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor.

The band's 4th album, Dear Science, was released September 23, 2008 on Interscope. It was made available for streaming on their Myspace page and subsequently leaked onto the internet on September 6, 2008. The album received widespread critical acclaim. It was named the best album of 2008 by Rolling Stone,[5] The Guardian,[6] Spin magazine,[7] The Onion AV Club,[8] MTV,[9] Entertainment Weekly,[10] the Pitchfork Media's readers poll[11] as well as the Pazz and Jop critic's poll.[12] It was also named the second best album of 2008 by NME and the fourth best album of 2008 by Planet Sound.

On September 22, 2008, they performed "Dancing Choose" in the setting of a flight of outer apartment stairs on the Late Show with David Letterman.[13] They also appeared on Later... with Jools Holland on September 30, 2008, performing "Golden Age" and "Dancing Choose", which were the same songs they performed on Saturday Night Live on February 7, 2009. The band performed "Dancing Choose" on the February 9, 2009 episode of The Colbert Report.

On September 3, 2009, Tunde Adebimpe announced that TV on the Radio would be taking a year long hiatus.[14] Guitarist Kyp Malone's solo album, under the name Rain Machine, was released on September 22, 2009 on ANTI-.[15] A solo album by Dave Sitek, Maximum Balloon, was released August 24, 2010 on Interscope, featuring a variety of guest vocals by many of his musician friends such as Karen O, David Byrne, and both of his TV on the Radio vocalist bandmates, and numerous others.[16]

In addition, Sitek produced Holly Miranda's album The Magician's Private Library, which also featured fellow TV on the Radio members Jaleel Bunton and Kyp Malone.[17]

On February 7, 2011, the band announced an end to their hiatus, along with their upcoming album Nine Types of Light.[18][19]

On April 12, 2011, the album Nine Types of Light was released along with a one-hour film under the same name containing music videos for all the songs on the album as well as interviews with various New Yorkers. The film was directed by various directors under the supervision of Tunde Adebimpe.[20]

It was announced in March 2011, that the band's bassist, Gerard Smith, was diagnosed with lung cancer. On April 20, 2011, the band announced the death of Gerard Smith on their homepage: "We are very sad to announce the death of our beloved friend and bandmate, Gerard Smith, following a courageous fight against lung cancer. Gerard passed away the morning of April 20th, 2011. We will miss him terribly."[21]

In March 2010 the band's lead vocalist, Tunde Adebimpe, designed a charity t-shirt for the Yellow Bird Project to raise money for Haiti Relief via Partners in Health.[22]

In May 2013, the band headlined and curated the All Tomorrow's Parties music festival held at Pontins holiday camp in Camber Sands, England, at which they debuted the new song "Mercy."[23] The band began streaming the studio version of "Mercy" online on July 30, 2013 and released the song for sale on digital music outlets a short time later. The band also made the multitracks from Mercy available to fans so they could make their own remixes. The next single "Million Miles." was released digitally a few months later. Both songs were later released physically on either side of a 12 Inch single, released through Dave Sitek's Federal Prism label.

On November 8, 2013, via their Facebook page, the band announced they were at work on a new album.

Style and influences

TV on the Radio has said that their eclectic music is due for their liking of very diverse bands, including Bad Brains, Earth, Wind & Fire, Nancy Sinatra, Serge Gainsbourg,[24] Brian Eno,[25] and the Pixies. Adebimpe covered the Pixies song "Mr. Grieves" under the TV on the Radio moniker at the beginning of his career, layering his voice over forty times. The band has also cited Prince's "Purple Rain" as a classic.[26]


  • Tunde Adebimpe – Vocals, loops
  • David Andrew Sitek – Guitar, keyboards, drums, loops, bass, synthesizer
  • Kyp Malone – Vocals, guitar, loops
  • Tunde Adebimpe – Vocals, percussion
  • David Andrew Sitek – Sampler, guitar, bass, flute, keyboards, synthesizer
  • Kyp Malone – Vocals, bass, guitar
  • Gerard Smith – Piano, bass, organ, vocals, guitar, sitar
  • Jaleel Bunton – Drums, guitar, piano, percussion, vocals, Rhodes
  • Contributing artists:
  • Tunde Adebimpe – Vocals
  • Kyp Malone – Vocals, guitar, bass, synthesizer, strings
  • David Andrew Sitek – Programmer, guitar, sampler, bass, synthesizer, horns
  • Gerard Smith – Bass, organ, synthesizer, sampler, Rhodes
  • Jaleel Bunton – Drums, guitar, Rhodes, organ, synthesizer, bass, programmer, strings
  • Contributing artists:
    • Katrina Ford – Vocals
    • Eleanore Everdell – Vocals
    • David Bergander – Drums
    • Yoshi Takamasa – Percussion
    • Stuart Bogie – Saxophone, horns
    • Colin Stetson – Saxophone
    • Matana Roberts – Saxophone, clarinet
    • Leah Paul – Horns
    • Eric Biondo – Trumpet
    • Aaron Johnson – Trombone
    • Martin Perna – Flute
    • Claudia Chopek – Violin, strings
    • Janis Shen – Violin, strings
    • Perry Serpa – Strings
    • Lara Hicks – Viola
    • Eleanor Norton – Cello
  • Tunde Adebimpe – Vocals
  • Kyp Malone – Vocals, guitar, bass, synthesizer, strings
  • David Andrew Sitek – Programmer, guitar, sampler, bass, synthesizer, horns
  • Jaleel Bunton – Drums, guitar, Rhodes, organ, synthesizer, bass, programmer, strings
  • Contributing artists:
    • Katrina Ford – Vocals
    • Eleanore Everdell – Vocals
    • David Bergander – Drums
    • Yoshi Takamasa – Percussion
    • Stuart Bogie – Saxophone, horns
    • Colin Stetson – Saxophone
    • Matana Roberts – Saxophone, clarinet
    • Leah Paul – Horns
    • Eric Biondo – Trumpet
    • Aaron Johnson – Trombone
    • Martin Perna – Flute
    • Claudia Chopek – Violin, strings
    • Janis Shen – Violin, Strings
    • Perry Serpa – Strings
    • Lara Hicks – Viola
    • Eleanor Norton – Cello
    • Priscilla Ahn – Vocals



Year Name Charts




2002 OK Calculator
  • Self-Released Demo
  • Released: 2002
  • Label: N/A
  • Formats:
2004 Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes 175
2006 Return to Cookie Mountain
  • Second Studio Album
  • Released on: July 6, 2006 (world)
    September 12, 2006 (U.S./Canada)
  • Label: Interscope, 4AD
  • Formats: LP, CD, download
41 50 90
2008 Dear Science
  • Third Studio Album
  • Released on: September 22, 2008 (world)
    September 23, 2008 (U.S./Canada)
  • Label: Interscope, 4AD
  • Formats: LP, CD, download
12 26 26 33
2011 Nine Types of Light
  • Fourth Studio Album
  • Released on: April 11, 2011 (world)
    April 12, 2011 (U.S./Canada)
  • Label: Interscope
  • Formats: LP, CD, download
12 25 33


Release date Title Label
July 8, 2003 Young Liars Touch and Go
June 25, 2004 "Staring at the Sun" 4AD
2007 – iTunes Live Sessions Touch and Go
March 27, 2007 Live at Amoeba Music Interscope
April 14, 2009 Read Silence Interscope




TV on the Radio Remixes

  • Bumblebeez 81 "Pony Ride (TV on the Radio Remix)" (2004), 81 Records
  • Fischerspooner "Never Win (TV on the Radio Hoof-Hearted Mix)" (2005), FS Studios
  • Gang Gang Dance "First Communion (TV on the Radio Remix)" (2009), Sinedín Music

David Sitek Remixes

  • Fischerspooner "Never Win (Dave Sitek Remix)" (2005), FS Studios
  • Hope of the States "Sing It Out (David Andrew Sitek's Skyhorse Mix)" (2006), Columbia
  • Lee "Scratch" Perry "Fire In Babylon (Dave Sitek Remix)" (2006), Narnack
  • Nine Inch Nails "Survivalism (Dave Sitek Remix)" (2007), Interscope
  • The Knife "Marble House (Dave Sitek Remix)" (2007), Brille
  • Beck "Dark Star (David Andrew Sitek Remix)" (2007), Interscope
  • Bat for Lashes "Sleep Alone (909s In Darktimes Mix)" (2009), Parlophone
  • Steven Wilson "Harmony Korine (David A. Sitek Magnetized Nebula Mix)" (2009), Kscope
  • Fanfarlo "Fire Escape (David Sitek Remix)" (2010), Atlantic
  • UNKLE "Follow Me Down (Dave Sitek Remix)" (2010), Surrender All
  • Gypsy and the Cat "Time to Wander (David Andrew Sitek Remix)" (2010), RCA
  • MF Doom "Gazzillion Ear (Dave Sitek / Jneiro Jarel Remix)" (2010), Lex Records
  • Tegan and Sara "Alligator (Dave Sitek Remix)" (2010), Sire
  • Lykke Li "I Follow Rivers (Dave Sitek Remix)" (2011), LL Recordings
  • Dels "Gob (David Andrew Sitek Remix)" (2011), Big Dada Recordings
  • The Naked and Famous "Young Blood (David Andrew Sitek Remix)" (2011), Universal Music
  • Norah Jones "After the Fall (David Andrew Sitek Remix)" (2012), Parlophone
  • Norah Jones "She's 22 (David Andrew Sitek Remix)" (2012), Parlophone
  • Florence and the Machine "No Light, No Light (DAS Remix)" (2012), Island Records


  • "Staring at the Sun" (March 2004, directed by Elliot Jokelson)
  • "Wolf Like Me" (September 2006, directed by Jon Watts)
  • "Province" (January 2007, directed by Jeff Scheven)
  • "Me - I" (May 2007, directed by Daniel Garcia & Mixtape Club)
  • "Golden Age" (September 2008, directed by Petro Papahadjopoulos)
  • "Dancing Choose" (September 2008, directed by Brad & Brian Palmer)
  • "Will Do" (March 2011, directed by Dugan O'Neal)
  • "Nine Types of Light" (April 2011, directed by Tunde Adebimpe)
  • "Second Song" (May 2011, directed by Michael Please)
  • "Million Miles" (August 2013, directed by Natalia Leite and Kyp Malone)
  • "Mercy" (September 2013, directed by Dawn Garcia)


  1. ^ Harrington, Richard (April 13, 2007), "TV on the Radio: Coming in Loud and Clear", Washington Post, pp. WE06, retrieved September 30, 2008
  2. ^ Dahlen, Chris. "Return to Cookie Mountain". Pitchfork Media, July 5, 2007. Retrieved on June 24, 2007.
  3. ^ "The 40 Best Albums of 2006". Spin, December 14, 2006. Retrieved on November 2, 2007.
  4. ^ "Wolf Like Me" on YouTube
  5. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2008". Rolling Stone. 2008-12-25. Retrieved 2009-11-17.
  6. ^ Jonze, Tim (December 12, 2008). "No 1: TV On the Radio – Dear Science". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2009-11-17.
  7. ^ "The 20 Best Albums of 2008". Retrieved 2009-11-17.
  8. ^ "The best music of 2008". The A.V. Club. December 10, 2008. Retrieved 2009-11-17.
  9. ^ Montgomery, James (2008-12-17). "The Best Albums Of 2008, In Bigger Than The Sound". Retrieved 2009-11-17.
  10. ^ "10 Best CDs of 2008: Leah Greenblatt's Picks". Retrieved 2009-11-17.
  11. ^ "2008 Pitchfork Readers Poll". 2008-12-12. Retrieved 2009-11-17.
  12. ^ "New York Pazz and Jop". 2009-11-10. Retrieved 2009-11-17.
  13. ^ "TV on the Radio - Dancing Choose on Letterman". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
  14. ^ Montgomery, James (2009-09-03). "TV On The Radio To Go On Hiatus". Retrieved 2009-11-17.
  15. ^ "Rain Machine". ANTI. Retrieved 2009-11-17.
  16. ^ Billy Jones (June 14, 2010). "an interview with Dave Sitek of Maximum Balloon (the TVOTR guitarist/producer's new project w/ many guest vocalists)". Brooklyn Vegan. Retrieved June 17, 2010.
  17. ^ "Holly Miranda – The Magician's Private Library (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs. Zink Media, Inc. Retrieved 2010-09-04.
  18. ^ "TV on the Radio Return!". Pitchfork. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
  20. ^ "TV On the Radio Unveils Nine Types of Light Trailer".
  21. ^ TV On The Radio's Gerard Smith dies at 36
  22. ^ Matheson, Whitney (2011-03-30). "Cool book alert: 'Indie Rock Poster Book'". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-11-28.
  23. ^ ATP curated by TV On The Radio
  24. ^ Harris, David. "TV on the Radio (David Sitek): Interview". September 2008
  25. ^ "SoundToys Fanatic – David Sitek"
  26. ^ Keyes, J. Edward. "TV on the Radio".
  27. ^ – Artist Singles Chart History – TV on the Radio
  28. ^ Praxis Media. "Radio1 Rodos Greece ::: USA Forthcoming Singles ::: Charts, DJ Promos, Dance, Lyrics, Free Mp3 Samples Downloads". Retrieved 2012-03-30.

External links