January 27, 2022

The Smile - "The Smoke"

The second single from the Radiohead and Sons of Kemet side project has arrived.

This weekend, Thom Yorke, Johnny Greenwood, and Tom Skinner will play three live-streamed multimedia concerts in the round, in front of a live audience at London's Roundhouse. Today, they've shared the second official single as their band The Smile. Immediately, we're hit with a rumbling bass line that slinks along throughout the duration of the song as subtle percussion holds a tight rhythm. Thom's airy vocals leave their unmistakable trace over the eerie groove and horns embellish the track with slight purpose. Slowly, the track warbles around and unveils some new textures, but it's the bass line that keeps things on track. There isn't a big reveal or a crescendo that gives way to some illuminating solo or vibrant chorus, but instead this song really burrows under itself. There is still no word on when we can expect a proper album or even what it'll be called, so for now we're left with another dreary, meandering track that feels somewhere between something Atoms for Peace would release and less the vibrant rock we last heard on "You Will Never Work in Television Again." There is a lot of work in the background here, which should come as no surprise to any long time fans of Radiohead. With Nigel Godrich behind the boards once again, there are sure to be new discoveries revealed with each listen.

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