Some call him a “sonic polymath”, others a “musical adventurer”. Whatever adjectives spring to mind to describe Thom Yorke, you cannot deny his singular approach to making music and promoting his latest aural trips defy classification! After some light teasing online, Thom announced his third solo album proper ‘ANIMA’ is to be released in conjunction with a “one reeler” [a type of shortened motion picture popularized in the era of silent films] on Netflix - directed by the acclaimed Paul Thomas Anderson (‘Boogie Nights’, ‘There Will Be Blood’ etc.) - which features three songs from the new album starring Mr Yorke himself.Fans familiar with Thom’s solo work away from Radiohead will find plenty to satisfy their earbuds on this new record which is more accessible and has a wider palette than his last record ‘Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes’. Guitars make a slight return naturally giving these tracks a more ‘Radiohead-y’ feel but overall, Thom has nailed down his particular ‘sound’. Off-kilter beats riding up against swirling analogue synths - underwater pulses mixing with string sections and topping it all off are Thom’s vocals, sometimes dry, sometimes processed to make them sound otherworldly. Oh and there is melody too, as the lines unspool gradually until they nag enough to make you keep playing the album from the start.
Yorke has really come into his own with ‘ANIMA’ with a new confidence in his sound that was sometimes missing from his previous records. Coming hot on the heels of his first full soundtrack album, ‘Suspiria’ (2018) which was dark and fulfilling as a sit down listen in its own right, ‘ANIMA’ is his strongest work away from the Radiohead mothership. We can only wonder what’ll happen when Thom next collaborates with his old mates! Meanwhile, Yorke is taking his new record on the road visiting Europe, Japan, Korea and North America in 2019.