It's been three years since Radiohead released In Rainbows, and fans are getting kind of itchy to hear some new material. This past weekend at England's Big Chill festival, Thom Yorke scratched that itch -- maybe. He played a newish song called "Give Up the Ghost" (debuted in February, apparently, but we hadn't heard it before) that is thought to be a candidate for inclusion on the work-in-progress followup. So, how is it?
It's good -- no surprise there, as Yorke is a fine songwriter, even if he does go off on some odd tangents once in a while. Here, he's utilizing a looping delay to add some percussion (created by tapping the mike) and harmonize with himself -- kind of like local avant-garde singer-songwriter Ian Cooke does on occasion! Beyond that, it's just him and an acoustic guitar, which should please fans who find Radiohead's more esoteric electronic explorations to be tiresome or trying.
It's an elegiac slow burn of a tune that sounds like a lost track from between the OK Computer and Kid A eras -- not bad territory to land in. And it's been on constant repeat since it turned up this morning, sounding better each time around. It's even got us excited for the new disc, which hadn't even really poked at our consciousness for a while. Let's hope it's indicative of both the quality and style of the forthcoming album's material.