Radiohead Returns To The Internet With “Burn The Witch”

After deleting their online presence over the past few days, the band returns with a new video and single.

WHAT: “Burn The Witch,” the first new Radiohead song since 2011’s The King of Limbs, debuting via a music video the band just Tweeted a link in which a group of claymation townspeople get together to burn the witch in their midst, because Radiohead gonna Radiohead.


WHO: Radiohead, with longtime collaborator Chris Hopewell directing.

WHY WE CARE: Radiohead are one of the biggest bands in the world, but they’ve been quiet in recent years—after innovating the “superstar surprise-drops a new album in the middle of the night” form that everybody from Beyoncé to Kendrick Lamar has run with, they played some live shows, and frontman Thom Yorke busied himself with side projects. A new Radiohead album has been rumored forever, but we haven’t heard a peep of new music from the band since 2011. But recently, they announced something in a very Radiohead way—they deleted everything off of all of the band’s social media channels, suggesting that something was up. While we don’t have all of the details yet, the release of “Burn the Witch” is new music from Radiohead, and that alone matters (and it’s friggin’ great, too, abandoning the pseudo-afrobeat of The King of Limbs for a tense instrumentation and classic Yorke-ian moans like “this is a low-flying panic attaaaaaack”). On top of that, the video–a charming, Rankin/Bass-style claymation riff on The Wicker Man in which a group of townspeople attempt to determine the best way to throw a big party to rid themselves of a woman in their midst they’ve decided is a witch (they settle on immolation)–is an updated take on Radiohead’s affection for twisting things that are pure and childlike in the world. If you’re the sort of person who’s missed Radiohead over the past five years, in other words, “Burn the Witch” gives you exactly what you’ve been waiting for.

About the author

Dan Solomon lives in Austin with his wife and his dog. He's written about music for MTV and Spin, sports for Sports Illustrated, and pop culture for Vulture and the AV Club.