Jaleel Bunton

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TV On The Radio’s Jaleel Bunton reveals his top 5 songs of all time 

TV On The Radio: "Seeds"


TV On The Radio pulled one out of the top drawer with their 2004 debut album, Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes. The band elegantly combined what had until then had been seen as incompatible: soulful gospel singing, noisy punk guitars, funk bass runs and electro-flavoured drums. David Bowie was so captivated that he wanted to sing on the band’s second album. 

Other fans, such as Liam Gallagher and Scarlett Johansson, had their records produced by band member David Sitek. He also took charge of recording TV On The Radio’s latest, fifth and poppiest album, Seeds. The band’s drummer, Jaleel Bunton, tells us which songs inspired them while they were making it. 

1) Nina Simone: “Suzanne”

“The mix of Simone’s voice and Cohen’s lyrics is so moving and beautiful, like a master shaman read a master spell. There’s a live version; she makes the band start again. She’s like, ‘No, no, stop. Don’t put anything in the music that’s not asking for it.’ She’s saying: don’t try to put too much of you in the song. Let it go through you rather than be you.”

2) Jimi Hendrix: “One Rainy Wish”

“It’s hard to choose one Hendrix song. I’ve gone for One Rainy Wish, because it is often overlooked. It’s amazing what Hendrix packs into three minutes. It starts off in a serious, beautiful place and then it goes to this place that’s really passionate, almost violent, and then to a psychedelic end. And the song does it really effortlessly in this one statement.”

3) Lianne La Havas: “Forget”

“Prince is this young British woman’s number one fan. I’m not far behind. This song is a masterpiece. It’s a pop song, but it’s also it takes this darker turn in the chorus. You can see it started as a classical music-inspired song, but at the same time it feels contemporary. If there was a club that played this kind of pop, I’d be there all the time.”

4) Tears for Fears: “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”

“I think I’m going to embarrass the whole band by picking this, but I love it. This song will endure. Everything about it is perfect. To me, honestly, it has one of the best guitar solos I’ve ever heard in my life. It doesn’t just burst in and dominate the song like most guitar solos do – it’s just perfect for it.”

5) The Deftones: “My Own Summer (Shove It)”

“This song probably falls into the guilty pleasures category. I’m generally not a nu-metal fan, but this is kind of the best version of Korn and Linkin Park in one song. I hear the singer and I feel I get him: yes, you are a purple dark evil overlord with feelings. I listen to this song when I ride my bike and think, ‘Man, everything you say I feel in my bones.’”

TV On The Radio

TV On The Radio: Kyp Malone, Tunde Adebimpe, Jaleel Bunton and David Sitek

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