TV on the Radio Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes

TV on the Radio Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes
Brooklyn’s TV On The Radio caused many jaws to drop with last year’s Young Liars EP. Wildly original and innovative, it set every other great band’s plan of progress back another decade or so with its melancholic, doo wop melodies and experimental tactics. While the rush of the EP is still alive and healthy after eight months, the trio now presents Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes, a debut album that takes an unexpected direction. Stripping the sublime layers of reverb away to achieve a sound that is naked and sparse, the band’s music maker David Andrew Sitek has kept things interesting. The band has also made a change in the line-up by adding singer/guitarist Kyp Malone, whose vocals now back up front-man Tunde Adebimpe. This may seem like messing with perfection to fans of the EP, but instead of clashing, the two vocalists harmonise so commendably, they show just how limitless their music is with voices alone. The combination of Adebimpe’s croons and Malone’s falsetto reach a pinnacle on the shadowy "Poppy,” the album’s shining moment that ends with a flash of barbershop brilliance. Be prepared for Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes because it effortlessly exceeds all expectations.

The spirit of doo wop is very strong throughout both the album and last year’s EP. Tunde Adebimpe: The natural, naked voice is a good thing to use. I’m not good at playing any instruments, so everything I’ve ever done musically I’ve figured out on a four-track with my voice. I think that’s probably lending a lot to it. We like to break things down for fun. I’ll sing an entire song — guitar parts and drums by beat-boxing. So, that’s where that comes from.

David said recently that the EP had "soupy” production whereas the album is more "dry.” Can you elaborate? David Andrew Sitek: It’s a question of layers that I would be willing to go through. Like with Young Liars, there is an exorbitant amount of synthetic space around a lot of the instrumentation, like reverb and delays. When I run things that way, I will usually put a high delay time on, so the tonality flashes through the whole song, whereas [the album] is a lot more cut and dry. Notes come out when they’re supposed to come out, rather than trail on. It’s like putting vegetables into it! (Touch and Go)