Radiohead - 'Daydreaming'

Beauty is often found in the simplest of things. It’s always the refined and subtle beauty that makes something undeniably perfect. The new Radiohead track, ’Daydreaming’ is the perfect example of this. It’s quiet and subtle but all the while, huge and evergrowing.

Radiohead is always one for surprises. The media promotion for the upcoming LP9 (releasing tomorrow!) was elusive and hyped up all who couldn’t escape their screens for the latest news. Even those who didn’t care were intrigued. The beginning was the erasing of their online presence, deleting all of the media posts and tweets. Then the floodgates opened when they dropped ‘Burn The Witch’, an old track teased live ages ago and finally made it to the studio. That track was disjointed (as any quality Radiohead track should be), and along with its thought-provoking clay-animation music video, had some angry charge to it. The song’s first unique aspect was the inclusion of strings on it, showing that the direction the band was taking with The King Of Limbs was a thing of the past. A rawer, orchestral sound was the next step.

Then ‘Daydreaming’ dropped two days after. The pure beauty of the song was hard to grasp on the first listen. All of the sweet waves of the instrumental complemented by Thom Yorke’s haunting vocals coupled with an enchanting music video all added up to an overwhelmingly chilling experience. It’s as if the minimalistic swelling beauty of my favorite Radiohead album, In Rainbows had met the beautifully chilling orchestra of ‘Spectre’, a combo I was not ready for..

The track begins with chiming ambience, as beautifully simple piano arpeggios bring the track to a start. The ambience moves to the background and Yorke’s recollective vocals kick in, the first line somberly admitting, “Dreamers, they never learn.” Haunting weeps are sampled in the second part of the first verse, panning left and right as if passing as you fly through a dream. A short instrumental break then enters the picture, soaring with blue and white spirals of noise. The second verse continues much like the first, only building upon the background ambience and a synth imitating the piano, adding to the gentle body of the song. A second, more immense instrumental break follows, this time with all of the elements of the songs building to a grand climax. Chilling vocal samples fill the soundscape as strings, ambience, and synths swell slowly and brilliantly. Bond-esque strings accompany the song to a provocative end, the track ending with piano fading out as an effected backwards sample deeply and creepily chants with basses.

LP9 has set its mark already, and it’s still just under 24 hours before it’s release. It’s triumph and disposition have already laid the foundations for what may be Radiohead’s magnum opus. ‘Daydreaming’ is one of the most haunting and beautiful tracks I’ve heard this year, and every time I listen I can feel my heart beating tensely with the flowing beat of the piano and strings. LP9 is almost here, and the long wait is almost over. If the first two tastes of music from it are any indicators of the rest of it... we may have an album of the year on our hands.