Earlier this year, Radiohead released their ninth album, A Moon Shaped Pool. Their unique release and marketing methods kept the five-piece in the news for weeks before and afterwards. While it looks like they’ve gone against the grain in terms of promotional tactics, what with deleting their entire social media presence and sending out actual paper flyers to fans, the truth it that they’re just as savvy as the Kanyes and Beyoncés of the world. The difference is simply that Radiohead has their own audience. Luckily, they know how to speak to them.
As such, Radiohead fans have been blessed with an amazingly fruitful year of new music, new visuals and incredible live performances, many of which have resurrected songs that they haven’t played in years. They also released an unnecessarily elaborate video unpacking the vinyl album, shared a beautiful series of song-inspired vignettes on Instagram, only to later share even more beautiful song-inspired vignettes.
Considering the sheer amount of output, we’ve rounded up all your Radiohead news in one convenient spot to enjoy.
New song: Ill Wind
The vinyl release of A Moon Shaped Pool received as much, if not more fanfare than the release itself. It was preceded by listening parties in select record stores across the globe, and when it finally was released to fans, it came with a very special surprise: a brand new song.
An extra CD was sent out along with the special edition vinyl release, featuring two tracks: Spectre, the track originally created as a potential James Bond theme song and released last Christmas, and brand new, unannounced track, Ill Wind.
It’s very beautiful. Check it out over here.
New visuals: The Numbers
The first two tracks to be released from the album were Burn The Witch and Daydreaming, both of which were released as videos, following brief, then-cryptic snippets shared on social media.
The band went on to release aforementioned vignettes for every track. Now, they have released the full video for The Numbers, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, who also created the heart-wrenching Daydreaming clip and a stripped back one for Present Tense. The simple video clip sees Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood performing the track in the idyllic Tarzana, California. This obviously isn’t the album version of the song, but a new, live one, created using nothing but two guitars and a Roland CR-78 drum machine.
A superfan got to jam with Thom in Texas
One lucky superfan had the experience of a lifetime in Austin, Texas last week, and thankfully the story was shared to Reddit for the world to enjoy. Reddit user LetTheDeedShaw drove for ten hours to attend Austin City Limits, where Radiohead played. While in town he visited synth store Switched On, where Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood just so happened to be shopping.
He tried playing it cool despite wearing a Radiohead shirt. “I was determined not to make this a fan moment, because I knew the most valuable thing I could give him was a normal moment in a synth shop.” Thom had other plans though, and in fact walked up to the guy to start discussing synths, eventually actually playing together. “It was all like a dream. We jammed a little more… It was really beautiful and validating seeing my absolute hero geeking out over the same convoluted hobby that I do. We didn’t discuss who they were, we didn’t discuss the show, and we didn’t discuss how I was about to pass out from joy.”
Australia: Daydreaming is coming
Radiohead haven’t announced any Australian tour dates yet, but they’re still bringing us some love in the form of a video.
An extended 35mm print video of Daydreaming, second track and single from AMSP, will be screened for the very first time in Australia at this year’s CLIPPED Music Video Festival. Fans can head to the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia in Canberra on September 30 – you can get tickets here via NFSA.
While millions of fans viewed the clip on Youtube after its release, the band sent 35mm print versions to cinemas across the USA and beyond – so we’re stoked that its finally coming to Australia.
The Bends is back
Finally, watch Radiohead performing Fake Plastic Trees and The Bends for the first time since their new tour began. This marks the first time these tracks have been performed live in six years.