Thom Yorke’s ‘Not The News’ EP Ratchets Up the Dystopia

 

 

Probably the least surprising thing in music in 2019, is that Thom Yorke would choose to deliver an album he himself describes, rather bluntly, as “dystopian.” And indeed, released this past June, his latest solo endeavor, Anima (a Jungian term used to clarify the more female leaning elements of the male psyche) contains its fair share of chill-inducing pronouncements.

In particular, a track called “Not The News,” is hauntingly eerie, even in its abstraction. “Who are these people? / I’m in black treacle / Cue sliding violins / In sympathy” he recites in his signature tortured wail.

 

 

No surprise considering his penchant for fiddling with the machinery, he’s just released a four track EP (via XL), with a quartet of remixes of that very song. The strangest of these is the mechanized/funkified, six-plus-minutes “Clark Remix,” some bizarre but riveting crossbreeding of Cabaret and Cabaret Voltaire. There’s also an “Extendo Mix,” for which long-time Radiohead co-conspirator Nigel Godrich was enlisted.

Not one to go light on the conceptualizing, the album was accompanied by a Paul Thomas Anderson short, pithily titled ANIMA. Mr. Yorke will also be taking all that dystopia out on the road, with a 16-date North American tour kicking off September 26 in Quebec. That is, if we can survive until then.

 

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