The past few months have been quite controversial for Radiohead. The band has faced false claims from management, an uproar over tickets for their Summer tour and a complete deletion of their social media presence. However, the iconic rock group has finally announced that their ninth studio album is right around the corner. The currently untitled record will be available May 8 on XL Recordings, with physical copies to follow on June 17.
The group announced the release of the new album via Twitter, along with the video for their brand new single, “Daydreaming.” The striking video features lead singer Thom Yorke wandering aimlessly throughout multiple locations, including a laundromat, a beach, an empty parking garage and several houses. He eventually makes his way up a snowy hill and into a cave, in which he falls asleep next to a roaring fire. The song is hauntingly beautiful, with a gentle ambiance that complements the soothing voice of Yorke. It is vastly different than “Burn the Witch,” the first single off the new album released several days prior. This is an intense and upbeat track accompanied by a stop-motion video in which people from a small village engage in sinful activities. “Burn the Witch” and “Daydreaming” are both eerily beautiful songs, but the latter is a ballad that will undoubtedly be on the radio for years to come.
This album is the first for Radiohead in nearly five years, and their fans have been waiting in anticipation for a while now. Rumors have swirled for the past several months about new music from the group, particularly fueled by several instances. For example, the band established an LLC while a man from their management company spoke to the press about the new album and confirmed a June 2016 release. While Radiohead issued a statement that the man in question, Brian Message, is not directly affiliated with the band and should not be speaking to the press about their music, they never denied his statements. Shortly after, the band teased fans with the deletion of their social media presence, a brand new video and an official confirmation of the album release date.
After the release of 2011’s King of Limbs and a handful of tour dates, Radiohead went on unofficial hiatus in late 2012 and kept relatively quiet over the past several years. However, the band members stayed busy with other projects. Thom Yorke released an album as part of the alt-rock supergroup Atoms for Peace in 2013 and his second solo album, Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, in 2014. Meanwhile, Jonny Greenwood collaborated with Anderson and a group of Indian musicians, a processed chronicled in Anderson’s documentary Junun. Be sure to check out the new album on May 8, and see Radiohead on their world tour later this year.