OVER THE LAST TWO WEEKS Radiohead have been perfecting the art of How To Disappear Completely and reappear with some goodies. After removing nearly everything Radiohead from the internet (and they would’ve gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for that meddling Wikipedia!) Thom Yorke and co returned to their physical forms with a couple of gifts. The release of Burn The Witch also brought the answer to the cryptic posters certain fans received months ago, and with the release of Daydreaming came the announcement that the Art Rock band’s eighth studio album will be released on May 8th. That’s right, TOMORROW.
Burn The Witch is not Radiohead’s cover of the single by QOTSA but it is a song that has lurked within the shadows of their demos for quite some time. Featuring an instrumental that boasts some gorgeously plucked violin strings and a bass line that drones throughout, it’s a track that perfectly suits the drawling, reverberated vocals of Thom Yorke and the equally unnerving music video. Eesh. Radiohead do a superb job of keeping this track rife with intensity as the violins begin to unfold and spiral into this deep depression alongside the drums which have begun to break through the thick wall of synths and bass and strings. It’s a song that has certainly got everybody riled up, and a little creeped out. Again, that music video, ughgh.
Just as we thought this record was going to spark the drawn out journey of eventually leading toward the new album, Radiohead then dropped Daydreaming a couple days later. This is a longer track boasting six minutes of pure blissful qualities that could pair it up with the likes of Weird Fishes/Arpeggi in terms of bringing me close to tears of joy. Starting things off slowly with some underwater synth sounds, the track soon picks up pace with an influx of piano, synths and the slightest touch of bass to immediately add some life to it. This creates the perfect ocean for Thom Yorke’s vocals to swim around in, often allowing him to meander through the idyllic piano chords to hit you right into the heartstrings.
One thing to note is the band’s decision to feature no drums on the track, and it’s boosted it tremendously. Radiohead instead leave it to additional vocals, bass and the synthesisers to provide enough driving force that would often be left for the drums to produce. The result is six minutes of a song that sounds peaceful in parts, and full of life even at it’s stillest. It’s beautiful.
These two songs have been met with a justified amount of hype and excitement, and hopefully the new album satisfies the universe’s decision to get all hot and bothered. It seems Radiohead have learned not to pack their material with too many instruments (which hurt the flow and sound performed on The King Of Limbs) and have found the perfect balance between keeping things exciting and accessible. This means that this new record could be the greatest thing since In Rainbows, or whoever decided to leave all the doors unlocked in the Daydreaming video.
EDIT: Radiohead have released their new album, and that is awesome! Check it out here – http://www.amoonshapedpool.com/