Growing out of live band performances of Thom Yorke’s solo album, the members of electro experiment group Atoms For Peace have finished a nine-song album “AMOK” (XL) and will release it at long-last on Jan. 28.
Songs have been trickled out all this fall, of remixes and teaser bits, with excellent “Default” leading the way. You can hear it below. Yorke is joined by longtime Radiohead cohort Nigel Godrich, drummer Joey Waronker and Red Hot Chili Peppers players Flea and Mauro Refosco on the solo-project-ish thing, which was recorded out of New York’s Electric Lady Studios.
According to a tidy interview with Rolling Stones’ David Fricke, Yorke essentially wanted to make a dance record with the crew, but knew he needed to throw his vocals on top for it to get any traction.
“But you also have to give people something that moves,” Godrich said. “This is the eternal battle with Thom. He’s like ‘I really want to make a dance record. But I have to sing on it, or nobody’s going to f*cking care.”
“[T]he best tunes I dance to always have at least one good vocal idea.” Yorke continued. “There’s no such thing, to me, as a good tune with no vocals.”
I can hear what he means. “Default” has a complex web of rhythms — likely to be among the tamest on the album — but that specter of melody is the gum that sticks with the listener.
“One of the things we were most excited about was ending up with a record where you weren’t quite sure where the human starts and the machine ends,” Yorke said.
He didn’t sound positive that the band would be touring in support, but “we all want to.”