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Maximum Balloon is the side project of producer/TV on the Radio founding member David Sitek. Sitek’s inspiration came after moving from New York to California; to help make the Golden State’s notoriously long commutes a little more pleasant, he made mixes of tracks by Prince, Cyndi Lauper, Chic, and other Nile Rodgers productions to listen to in his car, and their influence seeped into the tracks he was making. To match the eclectic feel of what he was recording, Sitek collaborated with several vocalists, including TVOTR’s Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone, Little Dragon's Yukumi Nagano, Holly Miranda, and Dragons of Zynth's Aku. Aku sang on Maximum Balloon's debut single “Tiger,” which was released June 2010 and received a memorable video treatment featuring model Daisy Lowe. The tracks "Groove Me," "Young Love," and "If You Return" followed before the release of Maximum Balloon's self-titled debut album, which arrived that September.