TV Girl dazzled Milwaukee with back-to-back sold-out shows at the Colectivo Coffee on Oct. 23 and 24th and they took to twitter to set the scene.
TV girl is a Los Angeles based indie-dream-pop band composed of Brad Petering, Jason Wyman and Wyatt Harmon. Their debut album French Exit dropped in 2014 and has since gathered quite a cult-like following. With ballads like “Lover’s Rock” and “Birds Don’t Cry,” the album is curated to sustain a certain impact. Currently, the band has over 4 million followers on Spotify and their music has been streamed on TikTok more than 100,000 times.
Bands like TV Girl illustrate the seismic shift in the music industry. Music that’s been out for awhile can be more popular now than it was a decade ago due to the oh, so lovely age of streaming. Petering, the lead singer, mentioned on stage that TikTok has inadvertently brought French Exit and the band back to its glory days. There are a ton of things out there on this sort of idea already and I could talk about it for ages, but here’s a sufficient summarizer to get you started.
But enough about TikTok! This is supposed to be a review of TV Girl’s all-star band’s second sold-out show in Milwaukee two weekends ago. This tour — quite literally titled the “6 & ½ YEAR ANNIVERSARY TOUR” — showcased French Exit in its entirety, a unique and engaging choice that I wish more artists would explore. Just the other day, my roommate Zoe had joked that she wished One Direction would do the same.
Set up in the back room of a Colectivo on Prospect Avenue, intimacy was unavoidable. No matter where you were, you felt like TV Girl was singing in your living room. Of course, not every artist could play a show at a coffee shop, only certain melodies can do so well in a place meant for occasional brooding and epic coming of age conversations.
TV Girl fit the bill, though, as did their opener Jordana, a 19-year-old singer-songwriter from New York City. Jordana and TV Girl just released an EP together and the camaraderie between her and the band was evident, both sets were playful and engaging. You left the venue wanting to be someone, anyone’s friend.
Petering did most of the talking as he pleaded the audience not to smoke cigarettes because they’re bad for you, but vapes are okay. He praised his band-mates and the city of Milwaukee. He compared love to a river and never missed a chance for a random dad joke. Petering has a contagious quirk to him that made the whole thing a lot less serious and way more inviting. I would love to sit down and talk to him about anything; he doesn’t carry around a pretentious aura that many male lead-singers of indie bands do. (Damn Emily, tell us how you really feel!)
Maybe it’s because I was with my closest friends, or maybe it’s because I got to enjoy the show with enough space to move around and breathe, but either way, the TV Girl show this past Sunday was euphoric. For the entire set, there was not a single ounce of stress felt, just the opportunity to listen to great music in a small venue while ignoring everything else happening outside in the rain ― literally, there was a rainstorm.
I strongly encourage you to listen to TV Girl, and if you want to know more about the band’s history, good luck, they’re pretty MIA on the web. But hey, that’s probably on purpose. People love a good mystery. And who needs extensive interviews if you’re going viral on TikTok? The streams are sure to follow.