In a lengthy note to fans earlier this week, Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien promised a new track off his upcoming debut solo album was on the horizon. Today, he’s made good on his word by sharing the nine-minute long “Brasil” and a corresponding short film.
Coming under the moniker of EOB, “Brasil” features O’Brien’s Radiohead bandmate Colin Greenwood, drummer Omar Hakim (David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance”), and Dave Okumu of The Invisible on guitar. Flood also contributed System 700 synth as well as produced, while Adam “Cecil” Bartlett handled programming and Richie Kennedy added sampler programming. The whole thing was mixed by Alan Moulder.
“Brasil” opens as a somewhat bucolic acoustic piece, with O’Brien’s mournful guitar and voice leading the way as strings slowly dance above them. The pace begins to quicken a third of the way through, however, as Hakim’s drumming and Greenwood’s bass make themselves known. From there, the song becomes a pulsing motorik driver that beats out into space.
(Read: Ranking Every Radiohead Song from Worst to Best)
Director Andrew Donoho handled the accompanying visuals, which see a “worldwide astral phenomenon” literally warping the way people interact with each other. Explaining the video’s concept in a press release, O’Brien said,
“H.P. Lovecraft, Kubrick, and Junji Ito have created some of my favorite sci-fi narratives. But I’ve always wanted to reinterpret their horrific premises into a more poetic and optimistic notion. What if an alien or higher being were to come to earth to help us achieve a greater existence, and not to destroy us? What would it look like if everyone on earth shared thoughts, experiences, and actions? The theory that humans, as a species, actually represent one large, singular organism has always fascinated me, and I wanted to explore that concept visually through a variety of different character perspectives, mediums, and impressionistic visual effects. All these layers and ideas culminated into our narrative for ‘Brasil’.”
Watch the “Brasil” film below, and pre-order a 12-inch vinyl of the single at O’Brien’s website.
Further details about EOB’s full-length record are forthcoming. We previously heard the sample track “Santa Teresa”, and another single is expected “earlyish 2020.” Other album contributors include Glenn Kotche of Wilco, Portishead’s Adrian Utley, Laura Marling, producer Catherine Marks, and Okumu’s The Invisible bandmate Nathan East.
Update: O’Brien’s debut solo album, Earth, arrives in April.
“Brasil” Short Film Poster: