My grandmother always said, “Sunlight is the best disinfectant” In their song, Television, IDLES suggests that sunlight works for the soul, too. 

Liking yourself is a rebellious act
Louise Edgcumbe via All is Love: Gang AF IDLES FB community

The nasty things we say to ourselves, believe about ourselves, worry other people will soon realize, is  called negative self talk and can have an awful way of mucking up our lives. And what’s worse, these toxic thoughts get juiced by cultural expectations about how we’re supposed to behave and look. Huge industries are founded on making us feel we need to be MORE in some ways and LESS in others. Just this week: A New York Times article about the perfect workout for every ‘wedding dress silhouette’ sparked… 

So instead of media, IDLES suggests a cure older than Granny: Sunshine. There’s even a growing movement of physicians prescribing time in nature as a method to cure what ails you:
Science’s newest miracle drug is Free

“I go outside and I feel free, because I smash mirrors and Fuck TV”

When singer Joe Talbot says, “if someone talked to you, the way you talk to you, I’d smash his teeth through, LOVE YOURSELF.” I know so many people need that message, including myself, at times. To a passive listener, IDLES songs could sound angry or malicious. And sometimes they are, but here is a counterpoint of compassion, fun and love for themselves and others throughout their work. In her article in Rolling Stone, Bonnie Stiernberg describes the album, “songs that don’t by any means shy away from grief, but refuse to be made cynical by it.” The album’s title “Joy as an act of resistance” tips their hand on which extreme they’re rooting for.


“We’re like heavy post-punk. Like every other fucking band in the world right now,” says Talbot, lead singer (IDLES on Tour). He might be right. There are a lot of bands considered in that genre, but not many bands that have this much to say about topics this close to the bone AND do it without sacrificing any of the greatness of the song. 

Now What?

  1. Listen to Television by IDLES. A couple times. If you think it’s pretty okay or better, please continue.
  2. Try some other tracks by IDLES:
    • I’m Scum  Taking insults from haters and embracing them
    • Never fight a man with a perm  A good song for your gym setlist (and every setlist, really)
    • Listen to the album Joy as an Act of Resistance in entirety. Listen to it because the music is wonderful. Support the band because they say stuff you can get behind.
  3. Join IDLES lovely fan FB community: All is Love: Gang AF
  4. Try some songs by other bands:

If you hate this song, never fear, there will be a new song next week. 

PS. Do all Grandmothers use the phrase “Sunshine is the best disinfectant”? Grandmothers are so smart. 

Television by IDLES 2018


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