Our first taste of Rain Machine, aka the solo project from TV On The Radio’s Kyp Malone, was the chaotically upbeat “Give Blood.” It didn’t leave much space for you to catch your breath, if breath needed catching. Malone wisely follows it with “Smiling Black Faces,” a mellower political/personal anthem that gains momentum with each bell-like toll of his guitar (and jingle-bell shake in the background). We hear about genocide, burnt corks, slave names, an unsmiling face in a mirror. You might be reminded of TVOTR’s “Dry Drunk Emperor,” but this one’s set at least partially in New York: Sean Bell gets an extended homage, his death and the acquittal of the officers who shot him offering an opportunity to ask some big questions and a call for self-reliance, empowerment, etc. That it’s one pair of hands clapping at the end? Nice touch.

Rain Machine is out 9/22 via Anti-.

[Photo by Eric Martin]

Comments (17)
  1. wayne  |   Posted on Sep 1st, 2009 0

    hes not smiling! he’s got that “indie” look that is thinking on what he wants the camera to see

  2. This guy looks ridiculous.

  3. wow.. great comments on the song..
    I like it.. i`m excited to hear how this fits into the rest of the album.

  4. Booyakasha! ! Vocals sound so much like Bowie. Nice track.

  5. doop  |   Posted on Sep 1st, 2009 0

    this shit is dope.

  6. JewManSam  |   Posted on Sep 1st, 2009 0

    I like the staggering of track releases. Really dynamic. Super excited for the album.
    Kyp Malone=master lyricist.

  7. Oh sweet jesus. This is magical to say the least.

  8. wayne aging  |   Posted on Sep 2nd, 2009 0

    kool song!

    i just cant keep from wondering about what people think (specially people in the limelight) when they pose for photos. lets say it preoccupies me, thats why radio is soooooooooooo much better then the internet; maybe not the content but the medium aynwayz. TOO ME AT LEAST good night pennslyvania!

  9. Robert  |   Posted on Sep 2nd, 2009 0

    This song is too stunning to listen to at 9 in the morning. The building intensity sustained throughout the song was amazing.

  10. This is the sound of Kyp doing his best U2 impression and succeeding. Did anyone else think that the cover art for the album looked like a five year old’s phsycadelic crayon drawings.

  11. Anonymous  |   Posted on Sep 2nd, 2009 0

    This is complete amateur garbage

  12. i like it a lot i really do

  13. John Nobody  |   Posted on Sep 2nd, 2009 0

    Amazing how people can be so mean and vindictive on sites like these. It?s just music, some will like it and some won?t. It?s subjective. And this song may or may not be ideal, but it?s not Nickleback or something. I would guess the really judgmental comments come from people who lead pretty unfulfilling lives.

  14. i cant seem to separate his solo stuff from TVOTR.

    it just seems that it could easily be one of their songs that it doesn’t escape that comparison to me

  15. xn  |   Posted on Sep 22nd, 2009 0

    Kyp = love.

  16. Joe  |   Posted on Sep 23rd, 2009 0

    “i cant seem to separate his solo stuff from TVOTR.” –Nothing wrong with that, is there?

    Kyp looks like Cornell West. That look has a track record of being attached to people who know what they’re doing.

  17. Seriously, lets stop giving Grammy’s to hosers and just give them all to this guy. Or at worst add a Beard Of The Year Category.

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