Radiohead appears to be closing in on the mix for their ninth studio album. While an official announcement has not been made, Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich tweeted out a photo yesterday depicting guitarist Jonny Greenwood in the studio at the helm of the soundboard. The picture follows recent news that the band had “done a couple of months of recording” for the yet-to-be-titled album this past fall, according to The Sunday Guardian.
— nigel godrich (@nigelgod) May 12, 2015
While the text may be confusing, it’s highly unlikely 65-year-old fashionista Anna Wintour is responsible for laying down the tracks Greenwood is dialing up. Rather, it’s a good bet Radiohead is closing in on their latest studio endeavor.
“We haven’t listened to anything back yet, so at the moment we’re all very happy,” Greenwood quipped about Radiohead’s latest project to the Sunday Guardian in February. “Now, I guess we’re going to go and listen to what we’ve done and see if we were right to be so happy. But we left it at a good place when we last stopped.” The band was reportedly slated to continue work on the album this spring following a break.
Greenwood also mentioned that the new album marks another change in Radiohead’s style. “It’s too involved [to explain how],” he told the Sunday Guardian. “We’re kind of limiting ourselves; working in limits. So we’ll see what happens. It’s like we’re trying to use very old and very new technology together to see what happens.” For those who’ve followed the band’s evolution from alt-rock, to a hybrid fusion of electronica, prog-rock, and all-out pop experimentation over the years, it’s an intriguing hint at what’s to come.
There isn’t a timeframe on the new project’s release. Drummer Philip Selway recently told UK music publication Drowned in Sound that “[he] wouldn’t want to start to predict that kind of thing.” And, considering the numerous projects that Radiohead members are involved in, we don’t expect that they’re in a rush. Lead singer Thom Yorke released a solo record last year, Selway put out a solo album this past October, and Greenwood composed the score for Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice.”
We’ll be watching for a new record though, especially considering the band’s recent experimentation in distribution: Both “King of Limbs” and “In Rainbows” (2007) were surprise, self-distributed releases, as well as critical and financial successes. And we’re sure that Radiohead has something interesting in mind for distribution of this upcoming album. Considering that Thom Yorke may have made as musch as $24 million from his 2014 solo release Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes through BitTorrent, maybe the band will use the service again?
In both sonic flavor and distribution method, the only thing predictable when it comes to a new Radiohead album is unpredictability.