Interview with TV On The Radio: The Best Shot At Utopia

TV On The Radio (Michael Lavine)Brooklyn’s TV On The Radio are back again with Dear Science, another exceptionally remarkable album that is the follow-up to their previous record, Return To Cookie Mountain. Recorded between February and April at Staygold Studios in Brooklyn, Dear Science picks up where Return To Cookie Mountain left off—ducking and weaving to its right with a crisp and persistent exertion of body and mind.

The payoff from a TV On The Radio record lies way beneath the instant gratification you receive from the initial spin. Dear Science’s first single, “Golden Age,” makes me want to roller skate around my living room today, as we head towards a transitional period in life: Seasons, elections, and things of that nature. Singer Tunde Adebimpe says, “It’s a pretty positive song. Kyp (Malone, vocals/guitar) said he was trying to write a utopian pop song, giving as much time to optimism as perhaps we as a band had collectively given to pessimism in the past—which I think is a good idea, making a conscious effort to give those feelings equal space.”

Return To Cookie Mountain was the perfect soundtrack to a purple and wounded December sky. Adebimpe describes the album as “foggy, pretty, and loud.” But when it came to the writing of Dear Science, he concedes that there really wasn’t much of a plan. “Kyp and I write demos—all voice for me. Him, usually just voice and guitar. And Dave (Sitek, production/vocals/guitar) has many beats, so we do a show and tell at the beginning of the allotted recording time, see what’s interesting, and then work on those ones. The loose guideline was to make something different that moved in a different way from the last record.”

The result is a lot of weary—if not punch drunk— emotion. Without question, each track on Dear Science is another shiny, blank canvas for the former painters-turned- songwriters to work on—and today’s listen of the album will surely not feel like tomorrow’s. How could it possibly? Like most TV On The Radio albums, Dear Science is a well that never runs dry—it creates the possibility in a dream future coming true, and it’s welcomingly available to the listener whenever they should arrive at it.