Song of the Week: Thom Yorke Gave the End Times a Graceful Lullaby with “Plasticine Figures”

Leave it to the Radiohead frontman to say what we're all feeling

Thom Yorke new song
Thom Yorke on The Tonight Show

    Song of the Week breaks down and talks about the song we just can’t get out of our head each week. Find these songs and more on our Spotify New Sounds playlist.

    The irony that Thom Yorke’s very quiet, very somber, and very tranquil new song premiered on the very loud, very obnoxious, and very insufferable The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon only adds to the majesty of “Plasticine Figures”. From behind a piano and in a space that looks like a classroom closet lensed by Vincent Gallo, Yorke brought a little patience and grace to the NBC institution with his “newly finished” track. But really, he gave us a soft lullaby, one that should help us fall asleep and escape this miserable world.

    “We all bow down, we all bow down, we all bow down,” Yorke sings repeatedly towards the end of the three-minute ballad. There’s a striking humility in these words, made all the more affecting by its repetition. It’s a feeling that is all too prescient at a time when we’re being bent at the will of nature and drowned at the mercy of mankind. When Yorke adds, “Where is the love?”, the answer isn’t so simple. It’s perhaps stowed away. Though, we’d like to believe, as he sang with Radiohead years ago, it’s simply waiting.


    For Fans Of: Radiohead, Thom Yorke, but especially those who subscribed to his Suspiria score back in 2018. It appears the singer-songwriter has yet to leave the Markos Dance Academy. That’s not a bad thing.

    Best Moment: That finish. Just watch Yorke sit there feeling the mood.

    Where to Go From Here: Sky’s the limit. Whether or not the song is a solo composition, or the early makings of a track for Radiohead remains to be seen. He’s certainly at a crossroads and that’s exciting.

    Other Great Songs This Week: The Regrettes – “What Am I Gonna Do Today?”; Dixie Chicks – “Julianna Calm Down”; Oasis – “Don’t Stop” (Demo); Big Thief – “Love In Mine”; and Megan Thee Stallion – “Savage Remix” feat. Beyoncé


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