After deleting all of their social media posts and teasing with mysterious claymation clips, Radiohead have finally released the first single from their upcoming ninth studio album. The song, entitled “Burn the Witch”, is a potent brew of haunting orchestration and the band’s signature melancholy rock, as guitarist Jonny Greenwood’s experience scoring films such as There Will Be Blood and The Master takes a prominent place in the band’s sound. Thom Yorke’s haunting falsetto soars over the menacing buildup of strings. This song is a decided departure from the more rhythm-oriented work of their most recent album The King of Limbs, returning to a sonic mixture that is much more reminiscent of the band’s earlier albums.
The song is accompanied by a claymation music video, which depicts a seemingly innocent village with a dark secret. As a newcomer is shown around the town, the villagers’ dark religious rituals slowly reveal themselves.