THOM YORKE

Ra­dio­head front­man delves into hor­ror on mer­cu­rial sound­track.

Q (UK) - - Contents - JAZZ MON­ROE

If you’re in need of a hor­ror film sound­track, it seems like the spooky Ra­dio­head man has just what it takes.

THOM YORKE SUSPIRIA XL, OUT 26 OC­TO­BER

The lis­ten­ing party for Thom Yorke’s de­but film sound­track, Suspiria, con­vened last month be­neath Clerken­well Prison, a can­dlelit dun­geon with pro­jec­tions danc­ing across the walls. No­body had yet seen Luca Guadagnino’s re­make of Dario Ar­gento’s hor­ror clas­sic, and it mat­tered lit­tle. Who bet­ter to score an un­seen su­per­nat­u­ral flick than the ab­struse Ra­dio­head front­man, whose song­writ­ing do­main is neb­u­lous threats, vague night­mares and a sense of im­pend­ing fright? Yorke’s trade­mark para­noia finds new di­men­sions on this im­pres­sive sound­track al­bum. How his dis­tinc­tive melan­cho­lia will blend in on screen re­mains to be seen, but, as a stand-alone al­bum, Suspiria works mar­vels. Skele­tal lul­la­bies weave around man­gled synth fan­tasias, an­cientsound­ing chants and fin­ger­picked day­dreams. The hand­ful of sung com­po­si­tions rank along­side Har­row­down Hill and The Eraser as his finest solo work. It can be vis­cer­ally dis­turb­ing, too. The Hooks dec­o­rates a cursed piano mo­tif with strings con­ceal­ing hor­rors: muf­fled groans, scur­ry­ing feet, the swoop and squelch of a blade punc­tur­ing flesh. Spooked hymns such as Has Ended con­jure the souls of lost Ra­dio­head B-sides and ob­scu­ri­ties, while the elec­tronic skits evoke out­sider artists Lotic and James Holden. At its best – Sus­pir­ium Fi­nale and Un­made, a haunted pair of ma­jor-key bal­lads – you’re re­minded of Yorke’s em­i­nent skill: a flu­ency in dark, oth­er­worldly ro­mance that makes the alien sound fa­mil­iar. ★★★★

Lis­ten To: Sus­pir­ium Fi­nale | Un­made | Olga’s De­struc­tion | The Hooks

How his dis­tinc­tive melan­cho­lia will blend in on screen re­mains to be seen, but, as a stand-alone al­bum, Suspiria works mar­vels.

Ra­dio­head’s Thom Yorke: “flu­ent in dark, oth­er­worldly ro­mance.”

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