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TV on the Radio is a Brooklyn-based band that was formed in 2000. They are known for their Genre-Busting sound, often combining elements of Hip-Hop, Soul, Post-Punk, Electronica, and Alternative Rock into their music.

Band members:

  • Tunde Adebimpe: vocals, loops
  • Kyp Malone: vocals, guitars, loops
  • David Andrew Sitek: keyboards, guitars, bass, loops
  • Jaleel Bunton: drums, loops, guitars
  • Gerard Smith: bass, keyboards (deceased)


  • OK Calculator (demo, 2002)
  • Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes (2004)
  • Return to Cookie Mountain (2006)
  • Dear Science (2008)
  • Nine Types of Light (2011)
  • Seeds (2014)

David Sitek has also produced quite a few albums, including all three of the albums from Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Tunde Adebimpe, for his part, has a respectable sideline as an actor, best known for playing the groom in Rachel Getting Married.

Tropes exhibited by this band include:

  • Album Title Drop: The title of their first album, "Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes," shows up during the climax of the first song, "The Wrong Way."
    • Said in Seeds, which also doubles as their first Title Track.
  • Beast Fable: "Stork & Owl" is essentially one of these in song form.
  • Broken Record: "My repetition, my repetition is this" x20 or so at the end of "Repetition".
  • Darker and Edgier: The band came back after Gerard Smith's death with Mercy, which was the heaviest thing they'd done since Wolf Like Me.
  • Destructo-Nookie: "Lover's Day." Sweet Jesus, "Lover's Day."
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Their early demo OK Calculator is way more experimental and hip-hop influenced than their later studio albums.
  • Genre Mashup: Post-punk, Funk, electro, dub, Afrobeat, hip-hop, Progressive Rock, gospel, Noise Rock, swing, Synth-Pop... and that's just only a fraction of what you'll hear in an average TV on the Radio album. Seeds even features a Punk Rock song in "Lazerray".
  • Genre Roulette: Their albums contain any number of different song styles, including drum-and-bass, Avant-Garde Music, trip-hop, Funk, A Cappella, Power Ballad, or New Wave Music. With this as well as Genre-Busting under their belt, it is safe to say their music defies simple categorization, although a good contender would be "art rock."
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: "Tonight." Sounds more like a heart with a pacemaker or something, though.
  • Last Note Nightmare: "Wolf Like Me" ends with a sound that is comparable to the transformation of a person to a wolf. Actually fitting, considering the name and the thematics of the song.
  • Magical Negro; Played with in the song "The Wrong Way:"
    Wake up in a magic nigger movie / with the bright lights pointed at me / as a metaphor / teachin' folks the score / about patience, understanding, agape babe / and sweet sweet amour.
  • Mind Screw: Tons of their music videos. "Province" is a particularly outstanding example.
  • Non-Indicative Name: "Second Song" is the first song on Nine Types of Light. However, it is the second song in the tracklisting for the video version (the first being "Caffeinated Consciousness", which is the last track on the regular album).
  • Parody: Their video for the song "You" in the video "Nine Types of Light" is a parody of Prince, possibly of the affectionate variety. In the movie, Tunde leaves the band and begins a solo career that is clearly modeled after Prince.
    • Definitely an affectionate one, seeing as how they listed Prince as one of their main influences.
  • Recycled Lyrics: Killer Crane and Ride both feature a chorus lyric of "Leave it behind" and recurring themes of looking to the sky. It would appear that they are related, Killer Crane being about their coming to terms with Gerard Smith's impending death, and Ride being about their desire to live life to the full whilst they still have it.
  • Shout-Out: Their first album, OK Calculator, was titled as a reference to Radiohead's OK Computer.
  • Space Opera: "Lazerray," assuming it isn't just Word Salad Lyrics, seems to be a love letter to the genre.
  • Stylistic Suck: The werewolves in the video for "Wolf Like Me" look like stop-motion killer poodles, probably deliberately.
    • The saxes, flute and banal lyrics of "Make Love All Night Long".
      • The entirety of their demo album OK Calculator is acapella joke songs.
  • Talky Bookends: The video for "You" intersperses the song itself—performed by Tunde Adebimpe in Prince getup—with a seriocomic skit where the (ex?) members of TVOTR get together for brunch at a diner where Gerard Smith is working. A melancholy viewing experience, as it's about the last thing Smith did with the band before his untimely death from cancer.
  • Three Chords and the Truth: The band have three examples in "Wolf Like Me", "Mercy" and "Lazerray". "Lazerray" in particular is pure punk rock.
  • Token White: David Sitek is the only white guy in a band that is otherwise entirely black.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: Their songs can verge towards the nonsensical, especially those written by Kyp Malone.