Radiohead – Burn The Witch

RADIOHEAD – BURN THE WITCH (3:59)
available on: LP 9
Official Download.

NOTES:

‘Burn The Witch’ was first expected to be included on Radiohead’s seventh album In Rainbows. Thom Yorke posted lyrics of this song on February 4th 2007 when posting on Dead Air Space.
‘Burn The Witch’ appeared on Radiohead’s studio blackboard, of which a picture was posted on September 30th 2005.

“Blackboard filling up with ideas. lots of things happening all over the studio at once.. which i always like.. although i keep having to remind myself to sit down occasionally. (…) so now we have.. lots of loose ends. or starts. two weeks sketching things. chipping away at structures. making polyphonic sweeps. mountains of words. the blackboard is filling up.”

Despite Radiohead’s troublesome relationship with streaming services, the new single Burn The Witch became quickly available on May 3, 2016 surprise release on YouTube after days of teasing. It has been mostly Thom Yorke who has spoken out against services like Spotify. It’s reason why Thom Yorke’s solo albums, Atoms For Peace and Radiohead’s In Rainbows are still missing on Spotify.

The day after the release of Radiohead’s new track the press already had their first reviews up. Pitchfork named Burn The Witch their Best New Track: “It’s not since Kid A standout “How to Disappear Completely” that Radiohead have created a song this simultaneously unsettling and gorgeous.” Also on Pitchfork, was the video inspired by TV-series Trumpton? Or are there any politics involved? Pitchfork decoding the politics.

Rolling Stone: “The orchestral and menacing “Burn the Witch” is a heavy departure musically from the band’s last LP The King of Limbs.”

“Nothing to scare off the crowds at their festival headline slots this summer”, writes The Guardian, but continues: “It’s certainly the kind of return – bold and expansive, as well as dark and claustrophobic – that the world might have hoped for. The Guardian have more fan reviews up here.

NPR: “Radiohead has been making beautiful music about the end of the world for a long time; this offering suggests that the new album will join in that mission as one of the band’s most stirring calls to act.”

“It’s an orchestral pop song, but the orchestra is taking cues from heavy metal, chugga-chugga-chugga-ing the entire time,” writes The Atlantic about the track. “Sonically novel yet viscerally moving, gorgeous yet terrifying, it is the sound of Radiohead returning to do what it exists to do.”

Billboard writes: “The cheery video is accompanied by a typically claustrophobic, eerie new song from the band, which chugs along on an urgent string arrangement that builds to a peak during a scene in which a man is nearly burned alive in a giant effigy similar to the one torched at the annual Burning Man festival and inspired by the 1973 British cult classic The Wicker Man.” Billboard also points out that immediately after its release, the song shot to No. 1 on Billboard + Twitter’s Trending 140 chart, which measures acceleration of conversation and shares of given songs on Twitter.

Stream Burn The Witch on Spotify, Tidal, Google Play, iTunes and Amazon.

LYRICS:

Stay in the shadows
Cheer at the gallows
This is a round-up
This is a low-flying panic attack

Six the song of jukebox that goes
Burn the witch
Burn the witch
We know where you live

Red crosses on wooden doors
If you float, you burn
Loose talk around tables
Abandon all reason
Avoid all eye contact
Do not react
Shoot the messengers
This is a low-flying panic attack

Six the song of sixpence that goes
Burn the witch
Burn the witch
We know where you live
We know where you live