Fans of Radiohead have become accustomed to their cryptic ways of building up to a record’s release. Oh, who am I kidding? For the most part, we freaking love it. The only downside, in fact, is having to wait for the damn records to actually be ready for purchase. So, when the members of Radiohead seemingly erased their online presence on social media and their websites out of nowhere yesterday, the sense of mystery was also mixed with a kind of wild anticipation. This could only mean that some new music was on it’s way, and sure enough, today brought the good news.
Yes, Radiohead has released their first track since their brilliant, ditched theme song for the last James Bond joint, Spectre, and the first track to seemingly tease a new proper LP or EP since their indescribable King of Limbs record. The song is called “Burn the Witch” and it’s freaking fantastic, a track that tellingly was a hold-over from the sessions for Kid A, Amnesiac, and Hail to the Thief; it has the more inventive production sound of those records and is less beat-based than King of Limbs. And what’s more, the track has been released via its music video, an equally sensational bit of stop-motion animation, directed by A Fantastic Fear of Everything filmmaker Chris Hopewell.
The director is also known for a previous music video with the band, “There, There” from Hail to the Thief, and has also helmed videos for The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, and Graham Coxon. More importantly, the video is a seeming retelling of the horror classic The Wicker Man, through the veil of famous BBC stop-motion series Trumpton, which was a satire of sorts about British uptightness, manners, and insistence on civility over emotion and political outrage. It’s a nifty blending of ideas, suggesting that English society would have no issue with such terrifying, heartless behavior if it was done in a way that they might call tasteful. It’s another classic in a long line of great videos from the inimitable band, and a major tease for major fans of the bands (like this writer) of what’s to come with their new record.
Check out the video for “Burn the Witch” right below: