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MD Discovery: TV Girl Are “Grapes Upon the Vine”

TV Girl and Their Album Grapes Upon the Vine

Indie pop band TV Girl have been around for a while. They released their first EP back in 2010. However, they didn’t release their debut full-length album, French Exit, until 2014. Last year, at the end of June, they dropped their newest batch of music in the form of their fourth full-length album, Grapes Upon the Vine.

The album pulls from aspects of gospel music, while still retaining that indie pop identity. Besides the gospel music, though, Grapes Upon the Vine received a little bit of blowback due to the religious themes it incorporated. The album addressed the usual theme of love, but also included themes of purpose, faith, sin and impermanence in religious contexts. Many religious references were made in the album.

TV Girl 'Grapes Upon the Vine' album cover art.
TV Girl ‘Grapes Upon the Vine’ album cover art.

TV Girl responded to the mixed reception on two separate occasions. After the album came out, on the subreddit r/indieheads, frontman Brad Petering hosted an Ask Me Anything. His AMA prompted questions concerning the religious/anti-religious themes found in the album. Petering responded to one question about why the band chose that direction for the album.

Thank you. Like I said somewhere else I love gospel music. The pianos, the harmonies, the uplifting nature of it all. But I’m not a religious person so can usually only appreciate the lyrics from an anthological point of view if you know what I mean. So I thought I would make a gospel record from the point of view of someone who doesn’t really have faith, or struggles with finding meaning in the world around them. I thought it would be a good ying/yang kinda thing and maybe that’s giving people whiplash but it’s kinda the point so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

-Brad Petering on r/indieheads subreddit

Then, on January 2, 2024, TV Girl posted quite the Instagram post with a caption that both summed up 2023 and addressed the pushback they received from Grapes Upon the Vine. Looking back on 2023, they mention playing at Coachella, their highly acclaimed U.S. tour and ranking higher than “long time rivals” The 1975 on Spotify. The band then described how the critiques of Grapes Upon the Vine played right into the band’s hands.

With “America’s Favorite Indie Band” riding so high, the ever vigilant “haters” scrambled desperately to find a “crack in the armor.” And so they twirled their mustaches and cackled at the divisive reception of our new album “Grapes Upon the Vine”, the fools having failed to realize they were playing right into our hands, planting the seeds for a delicious narrative of a “misunderstood masterpiece” to be reevaluated and celebrated 10 years down the line.

-TV Girl on Instagram

The Governor’s Ball and Bonnaroo

Aside from stirring things up, TV Girl made lots of plans last year to play at 2024 festivals. They will perform at The Governor’s Ball on Saturday, June 8. The band are then set to take the stage at Bonnaroo 2024 on Friday, June 14. Tickets for The Governor’s Ball can be found here. Tickets for Bonnaroo can be found here.

What do you think of Grapes Upon the Vine? Do you think it deserved the backlash it received? Let us know in the comments.

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