Tuning In: TV Girl

WHO ARE TV GIRL?

Named after a Beat Happening song, TV-Girl isn’t afraid to borrow from the past. Their music feels like a cult teen 80’s movie: picturesque, whimsical, and funny in a really subtle way. Their sound and aesthetic can be described as lo-fi and laid back, but don’t mistake that for laziness; their songs are carefully crafted both in their clever lyrics and extensive sampling.

WHAT’S THEIR STORY?

Formed by San Francisco natives Brad Petering and Trung Ngo in 2010, the band self released two EPs on Bandcamp: their eponymous EP (2010) and Benny and the Jetts (2011). Since then Brad and Trung have split (although they remain on good terms) and TV Girl has moved to Los Angeles, consisting of Brad and two new band mates Wyatt Harmon and Jason Wyman. They now have two studio albums French Exit (2014) and Who Really Cares? (2016), although they still remain unsigned (a decision made by choice not necessity.) This “do it yourself” attitude extends to their live performances as well. Trying to get away from the “traditional rock band format,” TV Girl doesn’t use any musical instruments but a keyboard; the rest of their sounds are created by Jason’s computer and Brad’s Ableton sampler.

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT’S THEIR STYLE LIKE?

TV Girl has described their sound as “sample-delic;” their breakthrough track, “If You Want It (You Got It)” takes lines from Todd Rundgren’s “Hello It’s Me” and Neil Young’s “Birds,” bringing them together to form an indie-pop hit. He’s cited Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Elvis Costello, Laura Nyro, Leonard Cohen, Andre 3000, and Carole King as musical and lyrical influences. While it’s difficult to box them into one genre, TV Girl can best be described as a mix of indie pop and dream pop.

While most of their music has a similar upbeat and jangly vibe, Brad shows diversity in his vocals. In some songs like “Benny and the Jets” and “Natalie Wood,” it almost sounds like he’s speaking, as he delivers the lyrics in a casual, conversational tone. In other songs such as “Baby You Were There” he serenades the listener, his voice becoming softer and smoother.

Their music and videos have a homemade sound and feel, due to their lo-fi production reminiscent of artists like Ariel Pink and Beck. In addition, their work is lighthearted and humorous, even poking fun at themselves sometimes. For example “Taking What’s Not Yours” is about all the things the singer left in his ex’s apartment, citing his copy of Gravity’s Rainbow and a box of lentils. When asked how they would describe their music to a five year-old they said, “You can sing along to it, but I wouldn’t sing around your parents.”

WHO’S IN THE BAND?

 

 

 

 

 

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Brad Petering- singer, sampler

Wyatt Harmon- keyboard

Jason Wyman- keyboard, computer

WHAT ARE THEY LIKE LIVE?

TV Girl performs “If You Want It” at North Avenue Studios

TV Girl Performs “Birds Don’t Sing” at Cosmic Zoo Studios

TV Girl performs “I Wonder Who She’s Kissing Now” for KnockSteadyTV


TV Girl will be performing at Beat Kitchen on Saturday, October 7, at 8:30 PM. Buy tickets here.


♥ Written by Andrea Tabora ♥

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