Video of the Moment #2076: Radiohead

By on Wednesday, 4th May 2016 at 6:00 pm

Oxford art-rock quintet Radiohead abruptly vanished from the realm of virtual reality over the weekend, deleting their official Web site and all of their social media postings on Sunday. But after a bank holiday Monday of radio silence, the band just as suddenly reinstated themselves online on Tuesday with the release of a video for their new track ‘Burn the Witch’. The single track release has naturally prompted speculation that Radiohead’s ninth studio album is imminent, especially given the band’s rapidly growing schedule of live tour dates.

The video for ‘Burn the Witch’, directed and designed by Chris Hopewell, is an anachronous clay animation sequence set in a “Model Village” that seems somehow stuck in a past time. In the context of this curious temporal framework, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke’s lyrics, “red crosses on wooden doors / if you float you burn / loose tongue around tables / abandon all reason / avoid all eye contact / do not react / shoot the messengers / this is a low-flying panic attack”, seem to be a commentary on the fear-mongering and reactionary politics of modern Western society.

With the dramatic build up to the video’s release and the moralising message of the song itself, it’s hard to decide whether Radiohead’s release of ‘Burn the Witch’ is the worst kind of pretentious gimmickry or avant-garde rock artistry at its new millenium finest. Watch the video below and decide for yourself.


If you’re keen on checking TGTF’s past archive of Radiohead coverage, including a review of the band’s 2011 album release ‘The King of Limbs’, please click here.

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