The language and aesthetics of horror are all around us and seem to pop up when we least expect it. “Dark Deviations” is Haunted MTL‘s dive into those moments.


TV On the Radio

First of all, sit back, relax, and enjoy one hell of a song.

TV on the Radio is an indie rock band from Brooklyn that hit the scene around 2001. The current line-up consists of Tunde Adebimpe, David Andrew Sitek, Kyp Malone, and Jaleel Bunton. Gerard Smith, the bassist at the time of the release of “Wolf Like Me,” would later succumb to lung cancer in 2011.

TV on the Radio’s sound is eclectic. Some of the acts the band claims influence include Earth, Wind & Fire, Brian Eno, the Pixies, Prince, and Siouxsie and the Banshees.

“Wolf Like Me” was the first single from their album Return to Cookie Mountain.

Werewolves

Werewolves are a fairly common trope in music. Clearly Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London” immediately come to mind. There are other great songs that touch on themes of lycanthropy. The Cramps’ “I Was A Teenage Werewolf,” Ozzy Osbourne’s “Bark At The Moon,” and First Aid Kits’ “Wolf” are some great examples.

Lycanthropy can be defined in a few different ways. Most common is the folkloric concept of humans undergoing transformation into bestial forms. Often this is a wolf-like transformation. However, we see lycanthropy displayed in all sorts of forms across literature and folklore. Asia, in particular, has several instances of werecats.

But really, it is all about the werewolf in the context of western media.

Google “Thiess of Kaltenbrun” after this. You’re in for a baby-eating treat.

“Wolf Like Me” and Lycanthropy

Both the song and video for “Wolf Like Me” use tropes of lycanthropy for metaphorical purposes. Particularly key to the song is the association of werewolves being a release. The chorus states this pretty clearly:

My mind has changed
My body’s frame, but, God, I like it
My heart’s aflame
My body’s strained, but, God, I like it

We see instances of inhibitions being released in the video. Examples include the car-ride, the dancing at the club, and finally the girl biting the lead male.

That of course also evokes one of the more… interesting associations of lycanthropy; that of lust. Werewolves are second only to vampires when it comes to being objects of desire. I mean, a search of Wattpad really showcases this.

Is lust all over that video?

Check.

How about in the song itself?

Dream me, oh dreamer
Down to the floor
Open my hands and let them
Weave onto yours
Feel me, completer
Down to my core
Open my heart and let it
Bleed onto yours
Feeding on fever
Down all fours
Show you what all that
Howl is for

… a, yep. Check.

Wrap it up

TV on the Radio is not really a horror band. They’ve got a wide variety of amazing tracks and a song about werewolves isn’t entirely out of their stylings. Even still, “Wolf Like Me” is just one of those little offbeat tracks by an offbeat band that would be a great addition to any horror fan’s playlist. It evokes werewolves, and we think that is awesome.

About the Author

David Davis is a writer, cartoonist, and educator in Southern California with an M.A. in literature and writing studies.

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