Radiohead is the rock Beyonce when it comes to surprise releases, but they’re always spoiling the surprise on themselves. Over the past week their social media accounts have faded to white, all posts deleted (which as Silvia Killingsworth at the Awl noted is the quickest way to draw attention), leading everyone to believe the inevitable: new Radiohead music was imminent. Such is marketing these days.

Lo and Behold, a long overdue song called “Burn The Witch” was released, first as a Claymation music video and then across streaming platforms. It is buoyed by a staccato strings that evoke both Bernard Herrman’s Psycho and the pop stylings of a band like Coldplay, becoming more erratic in the final moments. Yorke’s voice plainly and sweetly sings songs of concern and warning that may be considered the over-arching theme of every Radiohead album since “Fake Plastic Trees.”

With a world tour starting soon, the album this single is to appear on will undoubtedly drop soon. The single is certainly the culmination of Jonny Greenwood’s solo orchestra work, and may be an indication that this album will be lighter on the ears than the past two Radiohead albums. The only thing left to wonder is if they’ll be giving this one away on the pay-what-you-want model they created with In Rainbows. So much has changed in the nine years since that album came out. The biggest surprise would be if it just popped up on the streaming services (which didn’t exist even five years ago), no announcement, no warning.


Article: Christopher Gilson


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