Radiohead’s New Video The Latest Volley In Band’s Visual Barrage

Radiohead is a band with art on its mind, and they are pulling out all the stops to deliver a wave of compelling artistic visuals in support of their great new album A Moon Shaped Pool. Shortly after the band released the album in May, they began to post visual art on their social media sites. Then they posted a bunch of “vignettes”, 30-second video clips of songs from the album as interpreted by visual artists and video directors.

The band is holding nothing back on their official video releases either. The first was for the groovy drone funk number “Burn The Witch”, a stop-action animation that surely gave nightmares to anyone who remembers the kids TV programming of their childhood. The next video was for the poignant ballad “Daydreaming”, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson of There Will Be Blood and The Master fame. It’s an amazing cinematic exercise featuring Thom Yorke opening a lot of doors, and it must have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars just to set up in all those locations.

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Last week Radiohead released their third official video from the album for the song “Present Tense”, this one also directed by Anderson but something completely different altogether. This video is a simple three-camera shot of Jonny Greenwood, Thom Yorke and an unseen CR78 synthesizer performing this hypnotizing slow-boiler live.

One can imagine that Anderson spent hours if not days getting the lighting just right. The two perform in a red glow like from an unflickering campfire, enhancing the warmth and the humanity of artists who have been criticized for being cold and distant in the past. It really is fantastic to watch the two play off each other with their electric guitars, and of course Yorke’s trance-like vocals are always so compelling to watch. If spontaneous combustion is ever a real thing, I think Thom Yorke would be one of the likeliest humans to one day go poof in a cloud of smoke and ash, the guy is so intense. Just imagine how amazing those visuals would be.



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