Home Read Albums Of The Week: The Smile | A Light For Attracting Attention

Albums Of The Week: The Smile | A Light For Attracting Attention

Radiohead's Thom Yorke & Johnny Greenwood cut out the middlemen — & cut to the chase, musically speaking — on the band's sharpest, strongest side project to date.


THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Smile are a band featuring Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood, along with Sons of Kemet’s Tom Skinner. Their highly anticipated debut album A Light For Attracting Attention was produced and mixed by Nigel Godrich and mastered by Bob Ludwig. Tracks feature strings by the London Contemporary Orchestra and a full brass section of contempoarary U.K. jazz players including Byron Wallen, Theon and Nathaniel Cross, Chelsea Carmichael, Robert Stillman and Jason Yarde.

Says Greenwood: “I feel grateful that we managed, with Nigel’s help, to record these songs in a way they deserve. And the singles released so far have been liked — as far as I can tell — which makes me feel dangerously confident in the rest of the record. As the all-knowing algorithm has it, if you liked that, you’ll love this, right? Hope so. Aside from anything, the brass and strings players who helped out — I really can’t wait for you to hear all their work too.

Photo by Alex Lake.

“So yes, we’re properly proud and excited for everyone to have the whole thing — but, it’s been a drawn-out process so far, with so many single songs released. I can only apologise for our tentativeness. Patience is a virtue, but then, so are sobriety and humility — and they’re not happening either.

“As we prepare to play this all live, a small part of me views the record as a way of getting people familiar with the songs first. This is short-sighted, but as I type this, I can’t really think beyond the first chord of the first concert in Croatia because that’s where so much of the excitement is for me. Live concerts are short-sighted, short-lived things, and all the more vital because of it.

“But really, the record still feels worth your time — both the time spent waiting, and the time we’re asking you to invest in hearing it — which is all I can hope for. I’m listening to it constantly, long after I should have had enough, so maybe that’s the right, long-sighted view of this. I hope you have the same experience.”