Out Now: ‘A Light for Attracting Attention,’ Debut LP of The Smile (ft. Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood)

Adrian GarroCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

This past Friday, May 13 saw the release of A Light for Attracting Attention, the debut full-length album from The Smile — experimental/indie supergroup of sorts featuring Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood and Sons of Kemet’s Tom Skinner.

To get the obvious out of the way early, yes — this record is reminiscent of Radiohead inasmuch as Thom Yorke cannot shake his general Thom Yorke-ness, if you will. That isn’t meant as a critique in any way, though. The combined forces of Yorke and longtime collaborators Greenwood and producer Nigel Godrich yields some expectedly gorgeous, cinematic compositions, clearly the result of a familiarity they have among themselves.

The addition of Skinner to the mix provides an additional creative entity, and it all adds together to an enthralling Radiohead-adjacent collection of songs previewed in the album build-up with tracks like “Thin Thing” and its jarring stop-motion video:

Click here to pre-order A Light for Attracting Attention on CD from our Rock Cellar Store (Release Date June 17)
Click here to pre-order A Light for Attracting Attention on LP from our Rock Cellar Store (Release Date June 17)

The Smile first announced its existence in early June with “You Will Never Work in Television Again,” which also turns up on the full-length record:

Breaking up A Light for Attracting Attention into individual songs doesn’t do the record justice; this is a set of songs best experienced together. Do so below.

The Smile will remain out on tour for much of June and July in Europe — click here to check out the tour dates, while we here in the United States await their debut.

Emily Herring attended the Smile’s London performances that were aired as a global live stream event. Here’s a bit from her review, capturing the vibe of the performance:

As ever with Yorke and Co., there is no point in trying to confine the sound to a well-defined genre. The songs are infused with an eclectic mix of influences, ranging from post-punk to jazzy rhythms and electronic beats. Yorke and Greenwood have built a career on surprising themselves (and by extension their fans) by consistently refusing to conform to any work routine, or to any preconceived idea of what they should sound like. The Smile is no different. Of course, almost inevitably, the new material is evocative of Radiohead’s sensibilities, but there is a novel energy to this venture that seems much more spontaneous and informal than anything Radiohead has ever done.

There is no doubt something liberating about no longer being weighed down by the heavy expectations of the Radiohead machine.

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