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The Smile
A Light for Attracting Attention
XL Recordings
Catalogue Number
Release Date
May 13, 2022


New supergroup The Smile (formed by Radiohead members Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood with Sons of Kemet drummer Tom Skinner) deliver a stunning debut LP, filled with a combination of alternative rock and pared-down masterfully-crafted songwriting. It is indie music of the highest calibre, skillfully made by seasoned musicians. Informed with hints of funk, prog and a complex myriad of other styles thrown into the mix, it’s more than enough to keep you on your toes throughout.

With A Light For Attracting Attention, the band truly live up to their name. As Thom Yorke explained when introducing The Smile during Glastonbury’s 2021 livestreams, it’s “not The Smile as in ‘hahaha,’ more The Smile as in ‘the guy who lies to you every day’. ” With that in mind, the trio portray the sly grins of those most untrustworthy through snarling and volatile guitars, and the nervous laughter in response with anxiously spiralling drums, all topped by uproarious arrangements sinking and surfacing throughout, and Yorke’s lyrically arresting vocals which are still as strong as ever.

The album comes to life on ‘The Same’, an electrical heartbeat throbbing as hazy layers of synth and guitars fluctuate and unfold. ‘The Opposite’ clears the fog instantly with waves of drums and interlocking instruments baring their fangs, biting on ‘You Will Never Work In Television Again’ and holding the tension throughout ‘Pana-Vision’. Things become slower and more despondent towards the album’s centre, with strings punctuating Yorke’s vocals like ellipsis as he sings of devastation on ‘Speech Bubbles’.

At a confluence of musical excellence, The Smile exemplify their range and penchant for engaging songwriting on their debut album.

Digital Tracklist

  1. 1 The Same 4:19 Buy
  2. 2 The Opposite 3:06 Buy
  3. 3 You Will Never Work In Television Again 2:48 Buy

    You Will Never Work In Television Again

  4. 4 Pana-vision 4:08 Buy
  5. 5 The Smoke 3:39 Buy
  6. 6 Speech Bubbles 4:16 Buy

    Speech Bubbles

  7. 7 Thin Thing 4:30 Buy
  8. 8 Open The Floodgates 4:29 Buy

    Open The Floodgates

  9. 9 Free In The Knowledge 4:12 Buy

    Free In The Knowledge

  10. 10 A Hairdryer 5:17 Buy
  11. 11 Waving A White Flag 3:47 Buy

    Waving A White Flag

  12. 12 We Don't Know What Tomorrow Brings 3:16 Buy

    We Don't Know What Tomorrow Brings

  13. 13 Skrting On The Surface 5:31 Buy

    Skrting On The Surface

The Smile

XL Recordings

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Alternative / Indie / Post-rock

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Limited Editions

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