Get Excited About… Thom Yorke’s mysterious white label could contain just about anything

Thom Yorke’s mysterious white label could contain just about anything

A new Radiohead album? An Atoms For Peace EP? DIY rigs up the rumour mill and starts speculating.

The internet is too full of people being cynical. Screw that. Sometimes music just makes us run around in dizzy circles - so pumped we need to get it out there. ‘Get excited about…’ is unashamed arm waving giddiness, because honestly, sometimes it’s worth it. Catch-up with why DIY thinks Charli XCX’s new album will make her the best pop star in the world.

Thom Yorke could post a cat .gif and the world would weigh up its potential double meaning. Ever since the sudden release of ‘In Rainbows’ - on a pay-before-you-buy scheme, announced just days before it came out - loyal fans have been second-guessing Radiohead’s every move. ‘The King of Limbs’ came out and within minutes fans were speculating about a potential second part because - and this is the sum of it - the artwork portrayed a tree and trees have branches and part 1 must just be one of the branches, right? RIGHT?

This one’s a bit more serious, though. Thom’s not just going to put a photo on Tumblr of a mysterious white label for no reason (or is he?!). Said photo won’t get posted by Nigel Godrich at the same time, just because. And said photo won’t also contain a glimpse of Stanley Donwood’s ‘The Eraser’-style artwork for shits and giggles. Something’s stirring. 

Let’s get that rumour mill in full motion, then. It’s in need of a new lease of life, so together we’ve sat down, weighed up all the clues, dug back through the hearsay archives and come to some very reasonable conclusions (some less so) about what to expect.

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It’s obviously a new Radiohead album

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They’ve been at work - we know that much. Thom and Jonny Greenwood have been exchanging song ideas over email, alongside 38 Degrees petitions and links to ‘Which Phil Selway Drum Solo Are You?’ articles. It’s been four years since ‘The King of Limbs’. They were due to go back into the studio this September. Pretty much everyone involved in various solo projects is wrapping it up right around now - we know that much. Selway’s own solo album is out this month, Atoms For Peace is lying low (OR IS IT? See below) and Jonny’s various orchestral work doesn’t stop for anything - but that won’t get in the way of a new Radiohead record. Colin’s still on a catwalk somewhere. It’s fashion show season.

It’s obviously a new Atoms For Peace EP

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Debut Atoms For Peace album ‘AMOK’ isn’t set to be a one-off, but for everyone involved it’s a project that’s been put in the background somewhat. Flea’s creative energy beyond RHCP is manifesting into the Antemasque project (alongside members from The Mars Volta). Mind you, Yorke and Nigel Godrich have been spotted in East London studio Strongrooms together (as far back as this June), and the artwork spotted in the white label photo unmistakably belongs to Stanley Donwood, in keeping the ‘The Eraser’ and ‘AMOK’’s style. Last year a pub in Camden was dressed up exactly in the style of ‘AMOK’’s art, to celebrate the band’s London Roundhouse shows - perhaps this run of imagery is set to continue.

It’s obviously something to do with Polyfauna

Thom Yorke’s mysterious white label could contain just about anything

The only new Radiohead material to emerge this year arrived in the form of ‘Polyfauna’, a bespoke app set up by the band that initially contained clips from ‘The King of Limbs’ alongside fancy landscapes that - with a tilt of the phone - you can navigate through. An August update - v2.0 - kicked off ‘The King of Limbs’ and made way for more mysterious recordings. Faint vocals could be heard in the background, and speculative fans even claimed to identify one of the songs as ‘Burn the Witch’, an old favourite of Radiohead’s that’s never seen the light of day. Elsewhere on the Tumblr containing the white label photo is a collection of shows from the app itself, plus original designs from Stanley Donwood that contain tree stumps and vague outlined lyrics. Unless Thom knows nothing about how to keep a Tumblr moodboard consistent, there’s a reason why these images share a home.

It’s obviously the 2015 John Lewis Christmas song

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Picture the scene: Thom Yorke skipping through English hills, covered in snow, pirouetting and performing the ‘Lotus Flower’ dance without a care in the world. Colin Greenwood’s just got back from Paris Fashion Week. He’s brought some great scarves - lovely cotton, really soft - and the rest of the Radiohead gang have picked some carrots on their trip up from Oxfordshire. Together, they build a great big snowman - one that takes approximately four years to sculpt but is totally worth it - using twigs for arms and drawing wavy black lines with charcoal to make the snowman look mysterious and jaunty. It’s a beautiful sight. The soundtrack, of course, is Thom’s cover of ‘ Everybody’s Changing’ by Keane. Following in the footsteps of Lily Allen, this’ll be coming to every advert break ever post-October 1st.

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