Radiohead have shared a new extended version of “Treefingers”, the ambient instrumental from their seminal 2000 album Kid A.
While “Treefingers” isn’t exactly a fan favorite — it’s been played live only twice, according to Setlist.fm — it’s an important step in Radiohead’s transition from the post-grunge of OK Computer to the post-rock, practically post-human experiments of Kid A and Amnesiac. Within Kid A, “Treefingers” is a palette cleanser that connects the folksy swells of “How to Disappear Completely” and the driving rock of “Optimistic”. It’s not a single, it’s just the kind of song that turns a four-star album into a five.
The new extended version adds about a minute to the run time, but it doesn’t alter the overall shape of the song. For some fans, it might be most interesting as a window into the band’s thinking, and their willingness to cut moments of beauty to further their overall ambitions. Other fans will just want to bask in an extra minute of sheer loveliness. Check out “Treefingers (Extended Version)” below.
So far, no word on whether this release is a prelude to some kind of Kid A 20th Anniversary reissue (the album’s birthday is in October) or if it’s related to the band’s new archival project, the Radiohead Public Library. Regardless, Radiohead seems to be on a mission to make all of their music widely available, and in December they uploaded their entire discography to YouTube.
Update: Radiohead has also unearthed a remix of “The Gloaming” from 2003, as well as Nellee Hooper’s mix for “Talk Show Host”, which was previously heard on 1995’s Romeo + Juliet soundtrack. All three tracks are also available on digital streaming platforms for the first time.
Bandmember Ed O’Brien will be releasing his debut solo album, Earth, in April, and he previewed it with his first ever solo concert earlier this month. O’Brien only has a few stops left on his limited tour, including appearances at Bonnaroo and Newport Folk Festival. Thom Yorke is also on tour, with upcoming performances at Coachella, Roskilde, and Rock Werchter. Tickets are available here.