This week sees the latest single from Radiohead's latest album 'A Moon Shaped Pool' released. The video for 'Present Tense' is a relatively simple set-up: just Jonny Greenwood and Thom Yorke performing live with nothing but two guitars and a Roland CR-78 drum machine. Check it out below:
The video was directed by Oscar-nominated director Paul Thomas Anderson. Although he is known best for the 2007 Oscar-nominated 'There Will Be Blood', I've been a fan of his since the late 90's with his early films 'Boogie Nights' and 'Magnolia' being on my all time favorite list.
'Present Tense' follows up the video for 'Daydreaming' (also directed by Anderson) which was released back in May. The film sees Thom Yorke walking restlessly through a series of rooms, which change with each new door. If these are the corridors of Yorke’s mind, it is crammed and complex – taking in a hospital, a laundrette, and countless homes, before bursting into the outside world.
Both of these video's, in true PT Anderson style, are beautifully filmed and feel cinematic.
However, my favourite video (and track) off the album remains 'Burn the Witch'.
Combining the stop-motion animation style of a classic 60's children’s programme with a decidedly sinister edge, 'Burn the Witch' is a dark, folkoric tale which combines 'Camberwick Green' and 'The Wicker Man'. Directed by Chris Hopewell, the film builds to its troubling conclusion via stabbing Steve Reich-like strings and ritualistic scenes featuring ducking stools, gallows and bunting!
Everything about this album, from the initial pre-release social media 'blackout', the album artwork by Stanley Donwood and the visually gorgeous music videos has nailed it! After the less than impressive 'The King of Limbs' from 2011, 'A Moon Shaped Pool' sees Radiohead definitely back on form.