Radiohead return to the internet with new song and video
Published 03/05/2016 | 11:41
Radiohead have posted a new song and accompanying animated video online, days after vanishing from the internet.
Burn The Witch, which has had more than 120,000 views so far on the rock heavyweights' YouTube channel, combines impatient pulsing strings with a thumping bassline.
And its accompanying video is characteristically dark, consisting of a Trumpton-like stop-motion animation retelling of what appears to be The Wicker Man, which ends with a man being burned alive.
The video, according to the YouTube credits, was directed by Chris Hopewell - who worked with the band on 2003's There There.
The band had earlier deleted its website and tweets on May 1 and sent cryptic leaflets to fans through the post, prompting speculation about when and how the group will release a new album.
It restarted its online presence early on Tuesday morning, sharing three animations on Instagram which have been liked by more than 50,000 people, before putting up the full song.
Fans speculated they could be linked to the new company the band registered in January, Dawn Chorus LLP. Radiohead also established companies before the surprise releases of records In Rainbows in 2007 and their last studio album, The King Of Limbs, in 2011.
Some fans have recently shared images of cards they have received in the post, emblazoned with the band's bear logo and the words: "Sing the song of sixpence that goes Burn The Witch."
The song appears under the headline "Dead Air Space" on the band's website.
There was a mix of opinions on Radiohead's facebook page, with the vast majority appearing to be in favour of it, according to its likes - although there were some dissenting voices.
Persis Shanker wrote: "Great song but the typical British styled stop animation video doesn't suit the soar of the chorus. This song crashes into a volcanic mountain that spouts lava into outer space."
Susanna Testi added: "Ok... anyone else has put the song on repeat mode since they've published it? I can't stop playing it!!!"
And Liam Boyle went on: "As always the most exciting an (sic) innovative band on the planet produce another classic track.. Great track!"
However, others were less impressed, with Oskar Callejo Ontoria writing: "Is this the new sound of Radiohead? For the first time in my life I must say 'Radiohead, I don't like this. Nothing at all.'"
And James Wallace added: "More pretentious guff from Radiohead. At what point in this century did they give up on writing a decent chorus? This like everything else over the past few years is boring as hell."
In March, the band - consisting of Thom Yorke, Jonny and Colin Greenwood, Phil Selway and Ed O'Brien - announced a string of UK dates in May, their first in this country in four years.
They are part of a world tour that will also see the quintet play in Amsterdam, Paris, New York, Los Angeles and Mexico City.