The Smile is a new act featuring some familiar names and faces: Radiohead‘s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood (maybe you might have heard of them?), and Sons of Kemet‘s Tom Skinner. The act has released two critically applauded singles so far this year — “The Smoke” and “You Will Never Work in Television Again.”
The alt-rock All-Star act’s third and latest single together, “Skirting On The Surface” is a stunningly gorgeous and meditative slow-burn centered around Jonny Greenwood’s looping and shimmering guitar lines, stuttering jazz syncopation, a supple yet propulsive bass line, mournful sax and Thom Yorke’s imitable, achingly weary falsetto singing lyrics contemplating human mortality and impermanence.
The accompanying video was shot in the depths of the disused Rosevale Tin Mine in Cornwall, UK on 16mm black and white film by BAFTA-winning writer/director Mark Jenkin. The visual follows Thom Yorke, as a cart-pushing miner through the mine’s narrow passageways and tunnels. He sees water go about strange, almost supernatural phenomenon. And at one point in his journey, the exhausted miner stops, dumps his load and begins filling in a passageway. It’s as gorgeous, meditative and as surreal as its accompanying song.