Any self-respecting Radiohead fan oughta be made familiar with The Smile. For the uninitiated, it’s the spinoff group of Radiohead braintrust Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood, along with Sons Of Kemet drummer Tim Skinner, and with production by Radiohead’s go-to man on the boards, Nigel Godrich. Today, the group has shared its third single, “Skrtng On The Surface,” and it might just be the best offering yet from this enigmatic supergroup.
Whereas raucous lead single “You Will Never Work In Television Again” had a distinct punk sensibility, “Skrtng On The Surface” is more akin to second single “The Smoke,” with pronounced strings and cinematic horns. Greenwood’s deliberate guitar picking nestle up against Skinner’s chill drum beat. Yorke is at his best, singing spookily as a stoic and stingy clarinet bellows in the background.
The black-and-white video was filmed in 16mm format by Director Mark Jenkin in an abandoned tin mine off the rocky shores of Cornwall in the Southwestern England. Yorke is a weary spelunker in the clip, trying to find his way from an underground pool of water back up to the surface; almost as if he’s seeking revenge on whoever put him there in the first place. The film for the clip was developed by hand in water from the mine and it’s a marvelous artistic touch.
Watch the “Skrtng On The Surface” video above.