Screencaps by the author, via
In a move that has since caused much commotion, Radiohead began taking various strands of its web presence offline this past Sunday. First the band’s website went white, followed by the deletion of its Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ feeds. The whole “Radiohead is leaving the Internet” speculation seemed just like the sort of online publicity savvy at which Yorke & Co. have grown so adept and undertaking.
Suspicions about new music were confirmed when Radiohead began uploading short claymation clips to their Instagram account, starting with a bird chirping into silence. If ever there was a sentinel for Radiohead's highly-anticipated new album, Dead Air Space, this animated bird, along with the other clips which featured a new song and the text “burn the witch,” was it. Radiohead’s viral campaign continued this morning with the release of a new song titled “Burn the Witch.” The track is accompanied by a full claymation video; which, as you might have suspected, features some heavy pagan overtones and Wicker Man influences.
Musically, “Burn the Witch” is about as Radiohead as you’d imagine. How could it not be, with Yorke’s vocals and the band’s identifiable atmospherics and rhythms? However, it seems like the band has unleashed Jonny Greenwood’s talent for avant-garde string compositions, which he’s been exercising for P. T. Anderson in films like There Will Be Blood and Inherent Vice. So, the single isn’t just vintage Radiohead, but a welcome pivot into a new and very satisfying musical direction.
Check out "Burn the Witch" in full below: