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Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood’s The Smile Unveil New Single “Skrting on the Surface”: Stream

Early versions of the song date back at least a decade

The Smile Thom Yorke Jonny Greenwood Skrting on the Surface New Song Video Stream
The Smile, photo by Alex Lake
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    Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood are back with “Skrting on the Surface,” their latest single as The Smile, a supergroup with Sons Of Kemet’s Tom Skinner. Stream it below.

    Yorke’s familiar falsetto takes the forefront of “Skrting on the Surface,” with Skinner’s unwavering percussion forming the backbone and Greenwood playing his usual utilitarian role.  “When we realize we’re only held in suspension,” Yorke sings. “‘Til someone comes along and shakes us/ And the pattern lines across our fingers like a web/ Will we die upon the surface?”

    The accompanying music video, shot on 16mm black and white film by Mark Jenkin, fittingly takes place at Rosevale Tin Mine in Cornwall, UK. Watch Yorke don a construction hat and move rocks in the clip below.

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    Radiohead fans first heard an early version of “Skrting on the Surface” in 2009, when Yorke performed it while on tour with Atoms for Peace. The band later played the song a few times during their 2012 US tour, before the current version was debuted during The Smile’s first performance together at Glastonbury’s Live at Worthy Farm webcast last May.

    Although there’s an album on the way from The Smile, the supergroup hasn’t revealed much in the way of details. Last summer, Yorke and Greenwood’s longtime producer Nigel Godrich said was “not a rock record” before walking the statement back. More recently, Greenwood said in September that the band was “sitting in front of a pile of music” while “thinking of how much to include, whether it’s really finished or if there are a few guitars that need fixing.”

    “Skrting on the Surface” marks the third single released by the group after “You Will Never Work in Television Again” and “The Smoke.”

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    In late January, The Smile completed their first run of in-person performances in epic fashion, playing three live shows in just over 12 hours at the Greenwich venue Magazine London. Check out our recap here.

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