Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and guitar anti-hero Jonny Greenwood have formed The Smile, a new three-piece project with Sons of Kemet drummer Tom Skinner, and debuted the lineup at Glastonbury‘s Live at Worthy Farm streaming event this weekend.
In typically cryptic Radiohead fashion, the band’s existence was announced mere hours before the livestream, which found the group play an eight-song set. You can watch footage of new song Thin Thing below.
Led by a fingerpicked – borderline thumped – riff from Greenwood (with a little slapback delay for good measure), the track recalls Radiohead’s darker forays into guitar-driven, progressive alt-rock.
Greenwood dons a Gibson Les Paul Goldtop – rarely seen in Radiohead, but previously used for renditions of Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint – for the performance, while Yorke showcases his impressive fingerstyle technique on a Fender Mustang Bass.
A two-minute snippet of a further track, We Don’t Know What Tomorrow Brings, finds Greenwood on bass, while Yorke harnesses an array of sweeping synths before strapping on a Gibson SG for some biting treble-string riffs.
In case you missed it, you can catch it again today @glastonbury pic.twitter.com/N9t4M43lorMay 23, 2021
There’s no word on what’s next from the project – which is also said to involve longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich – although judging from the weekend’s set, there’s already enough material for a full album.
Yorke and Greenwood have been predominantly involved in their respective soundtrack efforts since the 2016 release of Radiohead’s last album, A Moon Shaped Pool, while fellow guitarist Ed O’Brien released his debut solo record as EOB in 2020.
pic.twitter.com/QEw7fKx8rVMay 23, 2021