We’ve been waiting on new Radiohead material for over 5 years now. Finally, after a typically strange and clever publicity campaign (the band erased all their social media sites and sent out cryptic postcards to fans), the band to end all bands are back with BURN THE WITCH.
What can be said about Radiohead at this point that hasn’t already been said? They’re a band who constantly redefine themselves, and endlessly push sonic boundaries. BURN THE WITCH is no different. Icy, urgent staccato strings kick the track off, and from there, Yorke’s soaring falsetto and a jittery, electronic beat take you through the burnings, the drownings, and the violence of the Salem Witch Trails.
Without meaning to say ‘I told you so’, it seems that Radiohead have indeed gone down a more filmic orchestral route this time around, as predicted (see HERE). However, the band have blended this new found organic-ness with their beloved electronic elements. Though I’m as yet not wholly convinced by the drum sound on the track, the beat is wicked, and it lends itself to the ominous tone of the piece.
Once again, Radiohead have proven themselves to be one of the most creative and intoxicating artists of our generation, putting their modern imitators, and quite frankly the rest of the music world, to shame. Who else could return after 5 years of soul-searching with an entirely new and exciting sound? Who else would have the daring to bring out a post-modern Eleanor Rigby in 2016? Nobody but the 21st Century Beatles themselves. The sinister ambience of BURN THE WITCH is nothing short of spellbinding.