The Smile features a collection of England’s most accomplished musicians — and some extremely familiar names: Radiohead‘s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood, and Sons of Kemet‘s Tom Skinner.
So far, the trio have released five critically applauded singles throughout the course of this year, including three which I’ve written about.
- “The Smoke“
- “You Will Never Work in Television Again“
- “Skirting On The Surface,” a meditative slow-burn centered around Greenwood’s looping and shimmering guitar, stuttering jazz syncopation, a supple yet propulsive bass line, mournful saxophone and Yorke’s weary falsetto singing lyrics contemplating impermanence and mortality.
- “Pana-vision” a cinematic, Amnesiac era Radiohead-like song centered around a mesmerizing piano line, jazz syncopated drumming, a supple bass line and Yorke’s imitable falsetto.
- “Free in the Knowledge,” a sparse and brooding song that seems to capture the desperation, uncertainty and madness of our uniquely troubling moment.
Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few months, you might recall that all five of those tracks will appear on the acclaimed trio’s highly-anticipated Nigel Godrich-produced full-length debut A Light For Attracting Attention. Slated for a May 13, 2022 digital release and June 17, 2022 physical release through XL Recordings, the album features strings by the London Contemporary Orchestra and a full brass section of contemporary British jazz musicians that include Bryon Wallen, Theon Cross and Nathaniel Cross, Chelsea Carmichael, Robert Stillman, and Jason Yarde.
A Light For Attracting Attention‘s sixth and latest single, the frenetic and uneasy “Thin Thing” is centered around wiry guitar riffs, off-kilter percussion, and angular bass lines and fluttering synths paired with Thom Yorke’s imitable falsetto doused in a bit of reverb and delay. “Thin Thing” may arguably be the most menacing song on the album, evoking a creeping and unsettling existential dread.
Directed by Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña, ten accompanying stop-motion animated video for “Thin Thing” follows a frenetic fluid that swallows up everything within its path — machinery, human body parts, plants, etc. “Hearing the song for the first time, we imagined a frenetic fluid that carries machines, pieces of human bodies and carnivorous plants,” León and Cociña explain. When presenting the idea to the band, Thom told us about a dream that made him write the song. We believe the video is the conjunction of these two things.”