Launched in 2011, Matt McAuley and Brain McPeck’s band TV Baby has worked its way through New York City’s music and art worlds, developing into a multidisciplinary project with deep roots in the city’s downtown scene.
Their first release was produced by the L.A-based art gallery/book imprint OHWOW as an art book/album hybrid. The self-titled project featured the visual work of 40 artists and friends, including Jim Jarmusch, Alan Vega, Dan Colen, and Dash Snow—all of whom explored their relationship to television. In a way, it was a representation of Matt and Brain’s rich creative careers and the close collaborative bonds and friendships they’ve formed after nearly twenty years in the city.
After first arriving in New York in 1997, Matt and Brain formed a number of free jazz and no wave groups, including Aylers Angels and Russia, with Lizzie Bougatsos of Gang Gang Dance. In 1999, the two went on to establish A.R.E. Weapons with Ryan Noel, performing in a number of galleries, including Colin de Land’s American Fine Arts, and at fashion shows with AsFour and Bernard Wilhelm. In 2003, the band released its eponymous debut album through Rough Trade Records and embarked on a tour of Europe and Australia. Three albums with Defend Records were to follow before Matt and Brain formed TV Baby. Following the OHWOW release In 2011, Matt and Brain collaborated with Suicide’s Alan Vega on a 12” single and embarked on what is probably their most ambitious project to date—a rock opera. Working with the artist Spencer Sweeney, TV Baby produced the show at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, a New York gallery. The surreal, gothic storyline follows the life of a child born from a television set (naturally) who then moves to New York City and falls in love with the internet.
More recently, TV Baby joined Glenn O’Brien as the house band for the re-launched version of his infamous public-access show TV Party. They also currently host an online radio program through Aaron Bondaroff’s Know Wave Radio called Tropical Apartments, playing everything from early electro and jazz to punk and disco. Some notable releases include their single “New York Is Alright” issued on both Rong Music and Maceo Plex’s imprint Ellum Audio with remixes by Eric “Dr. Dunks” Duncan, Maetrik & The Idjut Boys. Shortly after, they released their single “Wild Joy” on streetwear label aNYthing (A New York Thing) also founded by Aaron Bondaroff. The single was accompanied by a video directed by long-time friend and graffiti artist Andre Saraiva.
This year, TV Baby will release an exclusive and limited vinyl-only 7” through Deus Ex Machina’s first imprint and endeavour into music, Deus Records. Gabriel Andruzzi, multi-instrumentalist for pioneering post-punk revivalists The Rapture and a friend of Matt and Brain’s since their early, musically formative years in Washington DC, joins as producer, marking the trio’s first collaboration in over a decade. TV Baby’s vinyl-only debut demonstrates the band’s ability to marry a mélange of musical styles, such as electro, punk, rockabilly and no wave. It also confirm Deus’ multi-disciplinary approach to producing objects of a highest consideration and quality - be it motorcycle, leather jacket or sound, the same intentness is observed with this release.
This first release through Deus Records serves to solidify their new sound. With throbbing synths, sweeping guitar, and lyrics both poetic and streetwise, TV Baby have created a sound that captures both the angst and optimism of their time.