Hear Radiohead Offshoot the Smile’s Shadowy New Song ‘The Smoke’
The shadowy track, available below, varies substantially from the live version debuted during the Glastonbury Festival's Live at Worthy Farm livestream in May 2021. While maintaining the same tricky time signatures, muted Afrobeat riffs and Yorke’s sky-scraping falsetto, the studio cut is also sculpted with piles of horns and woodwinds. The band — also featuring Sons of Kemet drummer Tom Skinner, in collaboration with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich — released their first studio song, the more abrasive “You Will Never Work in Television Again,” earlier this month.
A press release teases that “further new music" will be issued "in the coming months.”
While they’ve yet to formally announce a studio album, the Smile did confirm its existence in mid-2021. “It’s an interesting juxtaposition of things, but it does make sense. It will make sense," Godrich told the Coda Collection in July. Two months later, Greenwood told NME they were "sitting in front of a pile of music, working out what will make the record."
Greenwood also noted that the as-yet-untitled LP would have come out "a few months" sooner if he'd made that call. “I’m the most impatient of everybody in Radiohead," he said. "I’ve always said I’d much rather the records were 90 [percent] as good, but come out twice as often, or whatever the maths works out on that. I’ve always felt that the closer to the finish, the smaller the changes are that anyone would notice. ... I’m always impatient to get on and do more.”
The Smile will stage three consecutive live shows during 24 hours in London on Jan. 29 and 30, paired with a livestream and a cinematic film directed by Paul Dugdale (the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney).