In primates, what looks like a smile usually signifies submission. In humans, it’s more complicated.
Things are never easy and straightforward when one of the main persons is called Thom Yorke.
Together with fellow Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, Sons of Kemet drummer Tom Skinner and longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, he has made a new band called The Smile. The name is taken from a Ted Hughes poem, and according to Yorke it’s not meant to indicate something pleasant, “more the smile of the guy who lies to you every day".
Borne of the early doldrums of the COVID-19 pandemic, the band made their surprise live debut in 2021 (watch here) and subsequently announced that a record was forthcoming.
The first single was the excellently angry “You Will Never Work in Television Again”, a raw-boned rock number with heavy drums, angular guitars and Yorke's frantic vocals.
“The Smoke” was the second single which shows another side of The Smile with a funky drum loop, some nifty bass work and signature airy vocals.
While each of the band members’ other projects often deconstruct songs, here there is bold commitment to melody that feels unique to The Smile.
Now, The Smile is gearing up for a long tour. That includes a stop at Roskilde Festival.
Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood first played Roskilde Festival in 1994 with Radiohead. Their last show here was in 2008. Tom Skinner played with Sons of Kemet at Roskilde in 2019.
Now, you can start looking forward to seeing one of the most original and anticipated artists around when The Smile plays Roskilde Festival.