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TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe Dances at the Guillotine on “ReelFeel”: Stream

on July 06, 2020, 11:38am

Tunde Adebimpe has shared a new song called “ReelFeel” — perhaps because the more appropriate title of Dance Dance Revolution was already taken. “ReelFeel” is a toe-tapping ode to regime change, as well as a charity single benefiting the Audre Lord Project.

Earlier in his career, the TV on the Radio frontman was more concerned with interior struggles and the emotional distance between individuals. But the dumpster fire of 2020 has pulled his attention to public spaces, and the results are as magnificent and incisive as fans could have hoped. Last month on Juneteenth, Adebimpe shared the protest song “People”, and “ReelFeel” is a spiritual successor — a kind of “after” shot accompanying the pained “before” of “People”.

“ReelFeel” was produced by Chrome Sparks, who called the cut a “scorching party jam/protest song.” It opens with slapping hip-hop drums supported by a funky bass and shimmering disco production. “Somebody tell the King the castle’s burning,” Adebimpe quietly coos, “Somebody call the Queen and say the same/ Let ’em know the tide is surely turning/ Let ’em know that no one will be safe.” Sounds like a good time, as long as you’re not the King in question. The song picks up momentum and teeth when Adebimpe sings, “‘Cause all we ever want is to be free/ We set it into motion, now you’ll see,” and reaches its feverish peak on the soaring falsetto chorus.

It’s not a violent song, unless you count tidal waves and earthquakes as acts of violence. “ReelFeel” is the unstoppable story of oppressed peoples rising up, and while it leaves space for a bloodless Velvet Revolution, it is also the dance of the guillotine, rooted in the manic joy of pitchforks and torches. Check out “ReelFeel” below.


The song is available to purchase through Bandcamp, where proceeds go to the Audre Lord Project benefitting lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and gender non-conforming people of color. Last month, Adebimpe played “Love Dog” on Colbert, performed in tribute to Black people murdered by the police.