The Smile give a Radiohead rarity a jazzy re-working on new single, Skrting On The Surface

(from left) Tom Skinner, Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood
(Image credit: Alex Lake)

The Smile – the Radiohead side project featuring Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood, and Sons Of Kemet’s Tom Skinner on drums – have premiered a new single, Skrting On The Surface.

The band's third single to date – following The Smoke and You Will Never Work In Television Again – the song is, notably, the first formally released version of an idea that's been kicking around the Radiohead extended universe for well over a decade.

Skrting On The Surface was performed – with a slightly more minimalist, acoustic-driven arrangement – by Radiohead on three occasions during their 2012 tour, and was also played three times in 2009 and 2010 as a solo piano piece by Yorke during shows with his supergroup, Atoms for Peace. There's even evidence on Radiohead fanpages of the song existing in fragmented form as far back as the late '90s.

In any case, The Smile's version is a different beast entirely, with a spidery central guitar figure and the sort of ethereal, wafting horn arrangements that also powered The Smoke

You can take the song for a spin below.

Skrting On The Surface will almost certainly appear on the trio's as-yet-untitled debut album, which was helmed by Radiohead's longtime producer and sixth member of sorts, Nigel Godrich.

In late January, The Smile played their first-ever public gigs – a trio of shows in the span of 15 hours – at the London event space Magazine. 

Tickets were hard to come by, but luckily enough, we were able to snag one, and share our six biggest takeaways from the gigs

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.