Paul Thomas Anderson Directs “Daydreaming,” The Second New Radiohead Video This Week

The dissonant “Daydreaming” gets some similarly dissonant visuals.

WHAT: Another new music video from Radiohead, this time for the dissonant, atmospheric “Daydreaming.”


WHO: Radiohead (duh) in a video directed by There Will Be Blood filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson that stars the band’s frontman, Thom Yorke.

WHY WE CARE: Two Radiohead videos–for two songs that nobody heard before they popped up on YouTube with visual accompaniment–in one week is a big deal, especially given that the band was quiet for the past five years. Beyond just “Hey, new Radiohead,” though, we’ve also got a new piece of filmmaking by Paul Thomas Anderson to contend with here. Anderson’s not exactly a stranger to music videos, but he’s not the sort of director who pays his bills by doing a bunch of them in the off-season–“Daydreaming” is just the 11th music video of his 20-year career, and almost all of his previous ones were collaborations with his ex, Fiona Apple, or singer/harpist Joanna Newsom. (This is the first one he’s directed for an artist other than one of them since 2002.) But seeing them together makes a whole lot of sense–Radiohead and Anderson are both big-deal weirdos, and the list of artists who are both follow-your-own muse auteurs and firmly entrenched in the mainstream, in any medium, is a very short one. You can understand the mutual attraction, and Anderson saturates visuals of Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke as he wanders through a bleak, grey England with sunlight that reveals the beauty of the mundane–which is basically Radiohead’s mission statement. If that’s not enough, “Daydreaming” also serves as an announcement for the release of Radiohead’s ninth album which–in a power move against the record industry’s declaration last summer that all new music would be released on Fridays–hits digital services at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday.

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.