Thom Yorke has given an update on the debut album from The Smile, revealing that it is “pretty much done”.
The band, featuring Yorke, his Radiohead bandmate Jonny Greenwood and Sons of Kemet drummer Tom Skinner, formed last year and have been sharing sporadic teasers of a debut album since.
New single ‘Pana-vision’, shared this month and taken from the Peaky Blinders soundtrack, marks the fourth track from The Smile since they debuted in 2021 at Glastonbury’s Live At Worthy Farm livestream. They went on to release ‘You Will Never Work In Television Again’ later that same year, followed by ‘The Smoke’ and ‘Skrting On The Surface’ in 2022.
Speaking alongside Greenwood on the Smartless podcast, Yorke confirmed that the album is almost finished.
Of the process of writing the record, he went on: “Jonny had come with a bunch of ideas, and I hadn’t seen him for a while, so they all just came pouring out before I could go, ‘Wait, wait, wait.’ There was a lot of me retrospectively going, ‘Okay, what am I going to do with that?’ Which was really nice.”
Yorke added: “I like trying to find different ways to write lyrics. I like to find different ways to assemble music. I like to learn new instruments, like Jonny.
“It wakes me up in the morning and probably always will, unless I lose my ability to think straight. There isn’t anything else. There’s not like, ‘Now we must move into this area,’ there’s not any sort of aesthetic agenda. You’re influenced by what you listen to. I’m always sort of buying new music.”
Last week (April 9), Yorke performed an acoustic set at the Zeltbühne venue in Zermatt, Switzerland, delivering solo renditions of Radiohead songs ‘Bodysnatchers’, ‘Daydreaming’, ‘Decks Dark’ and ‘Exit Music (For A Film)’ for the very first time.
The Smile’s debut live shows came earlier this year with three gigs in one night at the Magazine venue in Greenwich, London.
Reviewing the gigs, NME wrote: “It’s a stunning show – of course, it should be. This is an Academy Award-nominated composer, a Mercury-nominated jazz drummer and… well… Radiohead, and they’ve brought all their toys to share. All hail The Smile.”
The Smile are set to embark on their first UK and European tour next month, with shows scheduled throughout May, June and July. See the dates below.
16 – Zagreb, Hala
17 – Vienna, Gasometer
19 – Prague, Forum Karlin
20 – Berlin, Tempodrom
23 – Stockholm, Cirkus
24 – Oslo, Sentrum Scene
27 – Amsterdam, Paradiso
29 – London, Roundhouse
30 – London, Roundhouse
1 – Edinburgh, Usher Hall
2 – Manchester, Albert Hall
4 – Lille, L’Aéronef
6 – Paris, Philarmonie de Paris
7 – Paris, Philarmonie de Paris
8 – Lyon, Les Nuits de Fourvière
10 – Barcelona, Primavera Sound
12 – Dijon, Festival VYV Les Solidarites
24 – Reims, La Magnifique Society
25 – Werchter, TW Classic Festival
27 – Luxembourg, The Neumünster Abbaye
29 – Gdynia, Open’er Festival
5 – Barcelona, Poble Espanyol
6 – Madrid, Noches del Botánico
8 – Lisbon, Coliseum
11 – Nimes, Festival de Nimes
12 – Montreux, Montreux Jazz Festival
14 – Milan, Fabrique Milano
15 – Ferrara, Piazza Trento Trieste
17 – Macerata MC – Arena Sferisterio
18 – Rome, Auditorium Parco della Musica
20 – Taormina, Teatro Antico di Taormina