I listened to Radiohead before In Rainbows, which is considered by some to be the dividing line between indie and mainstream fandom. The news this week that Radiohead is working on a new album was well-received by this fellow right here, especially as I’ve recently operated my motor vehicle to repeat performances of their early 90’s album Pablo Honey (which should be followed by “… come to Floredah”).
Radiohead has some kind of weird staying power, at least with me. The complexity of their simplicity uncovers something deep inside of my own listening heart, and I am moved. Music says something that words often can’t. Of course, Pharrel’s Happy is a great (seriously) song brimming with, well, happy. By comparison, Faust Arp is a seriously great song that runs so deep that you don’t even know what just happened. Blow Out has become the soundtrack to life for the past few weeks — I need the Shepard scale at the end. The lyrics don’t connect much with me, since I’m far more moved by sonority than I am the words to a song. And that’s the draw for me. The layers of sound, the knots that hold the thing together: I can see it. I look at it with my ears like someone might stare at a painting for hours. The more you look/listen, the more you see/hear.
Says Johnny Greenwood about the album they’re working on now:
“I always feel as when we start up like we still don’t know really how to do it, and we don’t know quite what to do,” he said. “‘Looking down avenues’ is a very kind way of putting the kind of fumbling that we do, mainly because every time we try and do it like the last time because that worked, it never seems to work. So we talk about different approaches and we’re currently trying a bunch out.”
I can certainly relate to that approach, and I can’t wait to get it on vinyl.