Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Radiohead - "If You Say the Word"


Radiohead have announced reissues of their landmark albums Kid A and Amnesiac in celebration of their 20th anniversaries as well as a new album of unreleased material from the sessions that spawned the albums.

As hoped, Radiohead will indeed celebrate the albums that ushered them into the new millennium and their trajectory towards electronic music. Reissued as a three-disc set, the collection will include both groundbreaking albums as well as a third album, aptly titled KID A MNESIAE, which will feature twelve new and unreleased tracks from the recording sessions. In an announcement from the band, they said "It’s a collection of half-remembered, half-forgotten versions from those recordings, as well as a song we’d completely mislaid in some dusty attic corner, 'If You Say the Word.' Kid Amnesiae has been beautifully raised up by Nigel. It’s a memory palace of the recording sessions that spanned countries, seasons and crumbling country houses over a new millennium. Happy Birthday !" As mentioned in the announcement, the band has shared the first unreleased track from the sessions, "If You Say the Word." Eerie synths, hypnotic strings, slow percussion, and Thom's mystical vocals all come out to play on this number and it's easy to think of how it could've fit on either album. At first, the opening sounds reminiscent of "Kid A" before falling into a haunting spiral. A steady drum beat keeps this one in place as everything else buzzes around in layers. There are pickings of acoustic guitars, thumping bass, and that lovely ondes Martenot adding more textures to the already glowing track. On the surface, this one feels a little bland in terms of Radiohead's standards, but each listen slowly reveals the details that give it life. This isn't a demo, but a finished track left waiting to be discovered. It's exciting to think this is just the first of an entire album's worth of songs that will further detail the work of one of the world's most innovative bands during their creative peak.

KID A MNESIAE is out November 5 via XL Recordings.


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