Let's face it. The King of Limbs
(the band's last release) didn't really
sound like Radiohead because it didn't really
sound like a band. It sounded like some skittish, bone cracking creation stitched together on Thom Yorke's laptop. Which is fine, by the way. It's just that The King of Limbs
was more in line with DJ Thom Thom's solo releases than its insta-classic, '07 predecessor, In Rainbows
. But hey, at least they nailed it with that video for "Lotus Flower", right?
But man, has 2016 offered some juicy rumors as far as the band's new album is concerned. Seems like there have been alarm bells going off weekly. OMG! They've set up a new company to (presumably) facilitate an album release! Holy sh*t! Their manager says the album is coming out in June! Wait, that guy wasn't actually their manager? Oh No! They've been completely wiped off of the internet! What does it all mean?!
Well, what it apparently means is everyone was right about this new release all along, as the band officially began the torturous tease of new material earlier this week...first with a cute and crafty Instagram snippet of a claymation bird chirping on a tree branch, followed almost immediately by the full-blown video for "Burn The Witch".
Back in January we pondered whether Radiohead could avoid another King of Limbs
. Not that it was even important that they do so, by the way. Radiohead can do whatever they want....they owe you nothing! But fans have always hoisted this band high on the creative/intellectual pedestal, asserting things like, "Radiohead always reinvent themselves!", or "Radiohead challenge listeners in unexpected ways" (actually, that's essentially what we wrote). The King of Limbs
was a challenge of course, but not exactly for the same reasons an album like Kid A
"Burn The Witch", however, is
something new from the band...a terror-inducing, slow build of psycho strings laid over Thom's ever-velvety vocals. Paired with the cheery, animated darkness of a man being escorted to be burned within his own personal effigy, the song and video feels like a welcome return to creative form. "Burn The Witch" actually sounds like Radiohead...which in a way means this is the first time in almost a decade that we're actually
getting excited about this band again.
Adding to the buzz, the band teased another disheveled clip of Thommy wondering around a parking garage earlier this morning, only to drop the full-length video for "Daydreaming" a few hours later. The stunning video (which features a lot more wandering and ends with Thom climbing a mountain and ducking into a cave) is total eye-candy and was directed by director Paul Thomas Anderson, whom guitarist Johnny Greenwood has worked closely with over the years, composing soundtracks for There Will Be Blood, The Master, and Inherent Vice. As for the song, it operates in similar ways to "Burn The Witch", with cinematic orchestrations building to a cliff-teetering, crooked swell over turning trickles of piano, reminiscing of "Like Spinning Plates", from Amnesiac
, if that means anything to you.
And oh by the way, the band finally put six months of speculation to bed and officially announced the release of their next album. It's on Sunday at 2PM...surprise! Maybe throw a copy of it in with those (lotus) flowers you bought your mother (you did buy you mom flowers, right?).
Which brings us back to the premise of this whole sloppy article. Will Radiohead actually
sound like Radiohead this time around? So far, they are batting 1.000 in the rollout to Sunday's release, but I suppose that's just something we'll all have to talk about on Monday.