TV On The Radio - Seeds

Last year, TV On The Radio released two pretty outstanding songs, “Mercy” and “Million Miles,” both of which suggested the band had a lot left to say. It’s pretty surprising that neither of those songs will appear on TVOTR’s upcoming Seeds, but that just makes the prospect of the new album even more exciting. Today, they release a track that will be on the album, “Happy Idiot,” and that makes the prospect of the new album pretty damn thrilling. “Happy Idiot” is an ice-cold new-wave number with hints of Ghost In The Machine-era Police. That’s intended as high praise. This is the best song they’ve released since Dear Science, and you absolutely must listen. Plus, check out the album’s artwork (above) and tracklist (below, where you’ll also find tour dates)

Seeds tracklist:

01 “Quartz”
02 “Careful You”
03 “Could You”
04 “Happy Idiot”
05 “Test Pilot”
06 “Love Stained”
07 “Ride”
08 “Right Now”
09 “Winter”
10 “Lazerray”
11 “Trouble”
12 “Seeds”

TVOTR tour dates:

10/17 – Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara Bowl (Supporting Massive Attack)
10/18 – Big Sur, CA @ Henry Miller Library
10/19 – San Francisco, CA @ Treasure Island Music Festival
10/22 – Los Angeles, CA @ Regent
10/24 – Joshua Tree, CA @ Pappy & Harriets
10/25 – Las Vegas, NV @ Life is Beautiful
11/12 – Toronto, ON @ Phoenix
11/13 – Montreal, QC @ Corona
11/14 – Boston, MA @ Paradise
11/16 – Washington DC @ 9:30 Club
11/17 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
11/18 – New York, NY @ Apollo
11/21 – Brooklyn, NY @ MHOW
11/22 – Brooklyn, NY @ MHOW

Seeds is out 11/18 via Harvest. Pre-order it here.

Comments (22)
  1. This is really good, but I’m disappointed that “Million Miles” won’t be on the new album – THAT’S the best song they’ve released since Dear Science. Alas, the magic of modern technology means that I can just burn it into Seed and pretend like it was always meant to be there.

  2. Love this, but disappointed over half these tour dates are in NY and CA. Here’s to hoping they add some of the other 80% of the country to that.

  3. I don’t know… I like the song just fine, but it doesn’t have the things that got me into TVOTR back in the day. Their music had a sense of urgency and something-like-dread-but-not-quite that I just don’t hear in them anymore. Which is fine, but the last time I saw them live it seemed less… intense? I dunno. I hate that guy who’s all “Their old stuff is better.” because the quality of the song writing certainly hasn’t changed, it’s still great. These guys have incredible sonic sensibilities, I just liked their choices of sounds from before more.

    • Yeah, I’m not enjoying this one as much as Michael seems to be. The lyrics and the music felt so straightforward, which just seems weird for these guys. I’m missing the scatterbrain production tics they usually throw in there. It’s definitely not bad, so maybe I just have to adjust my mindset a bit.

    • I’m following you. I think I can see what is maybe going on though. This is track 4 on the album. That’s not a common place to put a lead single. And it’s a lyric video and not proper promotional vid. I think this is just a banger they are throwing out in front to get people excited with as much ENERGY as they can find. But it’s not like it’s the first or second track that is setting the tone for the rest of the album.

      I suspect there are moodier, experimental, more complicated tracks on the album that they are just holding back right now because they aren’t really the best promotional material.

      That said, I can dig this track. It’s a pop song. A radio track. It’s almost literally written to be played at high volume in the car with the windows down. I get that. And there are some really really cool grooves wrapped up in this song. So, I’m okay with it, but I think there will be much more beneath the surface when we get the complete album.

  4. I really like this. Granted, it’s totally different from the dystopian funk of Return To Cookie Mountain and Dear Science, but I’m actually kind of ready for these guys to explore a different path. They are capable of making a really great pop album, so it would be interesting to see if they experiment with that type of direction. I trust Tunde though when he says that this is “1000% the best thing [they've] ever made.”

  5. I like this song. But it was naggingly familiar for some reason. Then I realized it’s EXTREMELY similar to “Bad Days,” a 2008 song from the Charlatans UK. Almost too similar to be a coincidence? Compare for yourself –

  6. I like the song alright, but the production sounds kinda thin/trebly. Hopefully that’s just Youtube.

  7. What a great way to start off the week.

  8. Not really feeling it yet, but I’m sure it’ll grow on me. Nevertheless, I’m insanely excited for this album.

  9. It’s good, but hardly their best song since Dear Science. I prefer Second Song and Mercy to this. Maybe Killer Crane as well.

  10. Around 2009, a friend and I almost split because I was so furious with her describing TV on the Radio ” forgettable, middle of the road indie rock”. That’s just not right! Sure, Nine Types of Light was dangerously close to tacky, but it wasn’t trite, and we all know that their earlier three albums are fantastic, with Cookie Mountain being goddamn mythical. But to leave Mercy and Million Miles, which both got me beyond excited, off the album and give us this? I don’t know; maybe she was on to something. It’s a perfectly fine song, but TV on the Radio isn’t a band that I look to for perfection of already established styles of music. I suppose you can’t mine the affection ether (or wherever magical, unreachable place they get their inspiration from that no one else can get to apparently) for brand new edge every single record, and I do really like new wave, so maybe I’d be down for TVOTR’s interpretation.

    Or perhaps this is just a gut reaction. It’s probably just a gut reaction. I’ll like it soon enough.

    • “Mercy” and “Million Miles” are both much, much better songs, but at the same type I hate when a new album comes out and half of the songs have been out for more than a year. I suppose this happens mostly with debuts, where the artist has to put out enough material to build some hype over a year or two before they actually get to drop the LP, but like I was just trying to get into Banks’ debut and it was less enjoyable than I wanted in part because all of the best songs have been out on her EPs or as singles.

      ANYWAY. I agree with you on this being a “fine” song but also TVotR not being a band you look to for “fine” songs. Anyone who says 9TOL was “bad” deserves a face-punch, but pretty sounds and decent songwriting is not what makes this band special.

  11. Well, I love it. And I’m confident that these fast-ripping tunes will be beautifully sandwiched between more cerebral head trips. It’s all gonna be good.

  12. Feeling like a happy idiot that a new TVOTR record is coming out soon!

  13. Great stuff that bodes well for the new record but I definitely prefer Mercy over this track.

  14. Good song, but I hate the way this track is produced. Sounds like it was mixed for a car commercial.

  15. I know it will grow on me. Mercy was much better right of the bat though.

  16. I’d sure love to give this song the time of day if the new DFA1979 record hadn’t smashed me over the head with a club and road-hauled me down your favorite highway in a TransAm.

  17. A new TVOTR album is so important for music right now. This song is pretty good, liked mercy better though. Looks like there will be a few rockers in this one.

  18. Why are they playing Joshua Tree? that’s where I go camping… sounds interesting

    • SORRY. I downvoted you because I thought you were comparing the song to “Joshua Tree”-era U2 and I was like “whaaaaaaaaaaa??” but I understand now and I apologize.

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