Radiohead effectively ‘disappeared completely’ from the Internet this week as rumors continued to circulate regarding their anxiously awaited studio album. The group changed their Facebook profile picture to a white blank slate late last week, and Reddit confirmed on Sunday that Radiohead had steadily reduced the opacity on its official website until it had turned completely white.
This ‘going ghost’ act has raised some philosophical questions about Radiohead’s intended statement with their new album as well.
Radiohead's latest album to be released exclusively on the feeling of existential dread that resides within us all.
— Colin Jones (@colinjones) May 1, 2016
The last known cyber connection from Thom Yorke, the frontman of the group, made was a response via Twitter to ensure fans he’s “as f–ked off as you are” about an apparent difficulty in buying Radiohead concert tickets. The group soon after deleted all of their tweets. Radiohead’s other members including drummer Philip Selway and guitarist Jonny Greenwood have not erased their social media presences.
What’s even stranger and more mysterious: right before the band’s cyber disappearance many UK fans received leaflets with the band’s logo with the message “Sing the song of sixpence that goes ‘Burn the witch’ We know where you live.” The line refers to one of their songs, lesser known and over a decade old.
A man claiming to be Radiohead’s manager made a statement in April that their ninth studio album (their first since 2011’s King of Limbs) would arrive in June and be “like nothing you’ve ever heard.” Management for the band soon discredited his comments, saying the man has “no operational role” with the band.
As of last night, the band made their first Instagram posts since their fade out. A five-second video of a Claymation bird singing in a tree was posted, along with a more disturbing 13-second video of Claymation cultists wielding swords and dawning elk skull masks performing a ritualistic dance around a young blonde girl tied to a tree, whom we can only assume to be the “witch” mentioned in the band’s cryptic UK leaflets. Perhaps like Grizzly Bear and Panda Bear, Radiohead is hinting at exploring Claymation in their videos tied to their new album?
Following the two video teasers, at 11 a.m. today, Radiohead released a full Claymation music video for their first new song since “King of Limbs” titled “Burn the Witch.” No news on their rumored new album yet, but check out their brand new song and video below.