In their typical enigmatic manner, critically acclaimed rock band Radiohead have released two new singles ahead of an album set to be released on the 8th of May. Radiohead are no strangers to surprise album releases, previous albums including the lauded ‘In Rainbows were announced mere days before release, a pattern that has continued with the as of yet to be named 9th LP. 

The band’s latest single; ‘Daydreaming‘, explores the sombre side of Radiohead after the relatively aggressive pizzicato of ‘Burn the Witch. Frontman, Thom Yorke’s vocals float over an ethereal arpeggiated piano melody. Glitched vocal melodies fade in and out, as if to blur the lines between dreams and reality, and a harsh string section pulls the listener back into the real world as the soft piano lines fade away. Yorke’s lyrics remain characteristically vague, references to how “dreamers never learn” and warnings about going “beyond the point of no return” contrast deeply with the otherworldly backing track. The lyrics act as a kind of deterrent, warning the listener about getting lost in dreams and fading from the real world. The final lyrics explore this “point on no return“, mentioning, in a ‘Brave New World-esque’ way, that these dreamers “are happy to serve“. In Yorke’s mind, those that get lost in their dreams, lose their grip on their lives.  

Daydreaming’ is a song of deep contrast; it immerses the listener in an ethereal landscape, snatches them out of it and warns them that they cannot afford to lose their grip on reality. The song ends with deep gurgling and droning strings as if to remind the listener of the problems they must confront in the real world rather than hiding in dreams. 

There remains much speculation of the themes to be explored on Radiohead’s forthcoming album. Thus far we have seen unclear lyrics with links to group think, McCarthy-ism, and remaining conscious of the world around you. It seems to be a politically charged album for what has thus far been an extremely political decade.

Radiohead’s yet to be named 9th album is to be released digitally on the 8th of May at 7pm GMT.

Radiohead - Surprise 9th album announced along with new single Daydreaming 

This Radiohead article was written by Oliver Wheeler, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Zoe Anderson.

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