Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, and Tom Skinner have revealed details of their first album as the Smile. It’s called A Light for Attracting Attention and it’s out May 13 via XL. Today, they’ve shared the video for “Free in the Knowledge,” which Yorke premiered solo during an October performance in London before airings by the trio in January. Watch the Leo Leigh–directed video below.
The Radiohead duo and jazz drummer unveiled the Smile project last spring when they announced a surprise appearance at the livestream-only Glastonbury festival. (Though they made the record in conjunction with producer Nigel Godrich, he is not a member of the live band.) The Smile took their name from a Ted Hughes poem, with Greenwood telling NME, “The Smile came about from just wanting to work on music with Thom in lockdown. We didn’t have much time, but we just wanted to finish some songs together. It’s been very stop-start, but it’s felt a happy way to make music.”
In January, after teasing material in a rehearsal broadcast to Instagram Live, the Smile released their first single, “You Will Never Work in Television Again.” They followed it with “The Smoke,” “Skrting on the Surface,” and “Pana-vision.” The band has a spring and summer tour of Europe set to begin in Croatia in mid-May.
In addition to the Smile, Yorke, Greenwood, and Skinner have all had numerous other active pursuits in recent years. Radiohead reissued Kid A and Amnesiac with previously unreleased material and a virtual counterpart. Yorke also joined Four Tet and Burial for “Her Revolution” and “His Rope” for a rare collaboration at the end of 2020. And, last summer, he officially released new versions of the late MF Doom’s “Gazzillion Ear” and Radiohead’s “Creep.”
Greenwood has continued to develop his film scores repertoire, writing music for Licorice Pizza, Spencer, and The Power of the Dog. In February, the latter earned Greenwood an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score. Drummer Tom Skinner joined Greenwood on the Spencer soundtrack and regrouped with Sons of Kemet last year for Black to the Future, the follow-up to 2018’s Your Queen Is a Reptile.
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The Smile: A Light for Attracting Attention
A Light for Attracting Attention: