Rumors of Radiohead’s forthcoming new album—their ninth studio affair and first since 2011’s The King of Limbs—have been swirling for months. Though details surrounding the album are sparse per the guarded group’s usual hush-hush M.O., a few suggestive hints have been dropped in the past few months. Back in October, the band’s Jonny Greenwood tweeted that “lots has been recorded” and “we hope to tour next year.” At the Pathway to Paris concert in December, Thom Yorke performed two new songs ("Desert Island Disk" and “Silent Spring”) that may (or may not) be slated for the band’s new LP.
More recently, stranger things have been upon us. A few days ago, Radiohead fans in the UK reported that they received mysterious flyers addressed from the band and adorned with the sinister messages “Sing the song of sixpence that goes ‘Burn The Witch’” and “We know where you live.” Creepy. But considering this piece of clever promotion arrives courtesy of Radiohead, there’s little to be frightened of, beyond having to wait for who knows how much longer until the full album descends.
This past weekend, in a rather thorough spring cleaning of sorts, the band curiously erased its website and social media properties of all previous content and posts. Earlier today, however, the band shared a stop-motion Claymation video clip for “Burn the Witch,” a previously unreleased track and presumably the lead single lifted from the upcoming album. With Orwellian lyrics that evoke infamous examples of groupthink (e.g., George Orwell’s 1984, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, McCarthyism and the Red Scare) and imagery not dissimilar from the 1973 horror film The Wicker Man, “Burn the Witch” reinforces, yet again, Radiohead’s unparalleled penchant for provocation.
Watch the clip for “Burn the Witch” below. And watch your back. Radiohead know where you live.