Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood form new band The Smile – watch first-ever live footage from Glastonbury

The Smile
(Image credit: The Smile/Facebook)

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 (opens in new tab) 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.

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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.

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar (opens in new tab), Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as the best part of 20 years performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe (opens in new tab).