Radiohead have this week unleashed two brand new music videos for the lead singles from their new album, which will be released on Sunday night at 8pm GMT.
The first single arrived on Tuesday afternoon and was immediately available to download. Titled “Burn The Witch”, it carries with it an urgent orchestral riff that crescendos into an electronic beast of a tune. Whilst this was hailed as a new direction by their manager Brian Message, the classical music influence is hardly surprising – guitarist Johnny Greenwood has been moonlighting as composer-in-residence for the BBC Concert Orchestra for some years and has also tried his hand at several film soundtracks, collaborating on the last three Paul Thomas Anderson films (There Will Be Blood, The Master and Inherent Vice).
You can watch the video below. It’s a bizarre cross between 190s stop-motion children’s cartoon Trumpton and 1973 horror film The Wicker Man, and it’s utterly brilliant.
The second video, released earlier today, is for a track called “Daydreaming”. This is a piano-driven track full of ambience and subtlety that would be at home on Kid A. The video has a cinematic quality to it, following singer Thom Yorke through various residencies and buildings before seeing him climb a snow-covered hill, into a hollow and falling asleep next to a fire as the tune collapses around itself.
You can watch “Daydreaming” here:
What do these songs say about the album? Well, they don’t sound like a drastic departure away from the sorts of sounds we’ve heard Radiohead produce before. Certainly they haven’t stood still, but both Kid A and Amnesiac are brought to mind with the material heard thus far, with heavy influences from Greenwood’s mature concert orchestra brain.
If they wanted to whet our appetite, they’ve certainly succeeded.