The intoxicating cocktail of the group The Smile

Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood, two brains of the group Radiohead, join forces with Tom Skinner, drummer of the Sons of Kemet, a pioneering formation: here is The Smile, a new group that is bringing smiles back to the rock planet. Their album, released yesterday Friday in stores, is called A Light for Attracting Attention. “A light to attract attention”: one could not find a better title for this album, one of the most attractive of the year.

It all started with Jonny Greenwood, whom Thom Yorke hadn’t seen for a long time and who brought him a “lot of ideas”, as the singer confided in one of his rare media outings, in the Smartless podcast. . And Yorke plunged back into the creative pot with relish. Making music “gets me up in the morning and probably always will, unless I lose my mental faculties. There is nothing else “. “There is no we have to go in this direction, there is no aesthetic agenda. You are influenced by what you listen to. And me, I always buy new things in music”, slips the multi-instrumentalist again.

Fans of The Bends or OK Computer, Radiohead’s reference records, will be on familiar ground. Yorke’s head voice touches the stars on Pana-vision or The Smoke. And the trio find fuel for their combustion engine on You Will Never Work in Television Again. Without forgetting the rises in tension of the track A Hairdryer.

Enough to thrill the stages of the European tour which will begin next Monday, with carefully chosen dates, off the beaten track, as usual at Yorke. Among the French scenes, we find the Magnifique Society, a young festival based in Reims which is only in its 5th edition. “Having attended the discussions with the management, it was our artistic program for the day that allowed us to bring them in”, says Cédric Cheminaud, director and programmer of the festival. On June 24, The Smile will play there among a line-up that includes, among others, jazz legend Herbie Hancock and a young Canadian group, Badbadnotgood, who are reshuffling the cards between jazz and hip-hop. “We are dealing with musicians who still take pleasure in playing in a setting where they are associated with other artists they like”, develops the manager of the Magnificent Society. Even if Tom Skinner, the least known of the three, comes from a group that regenerates jazz to take it elsewhere, you shouldn’t foresee a peaceful set. “We expect something very nervous. The titles that have been released so far or the few rehearsal videos that we have been able to see are very energetic, very rock”, adds Cédric Cheminaud.

studio wizard

To be complete on the casting of The Smile, we must mention a man in the shadows, Nigel Godrich. This English recording studio wizard has worked on the sound architecture of Radiohead since The Bends (1995), and we obviously find him behind the settings of The Smile. He has also collaborated with Beck and Paul McCartney. And he had even shown himself in the spotlight in the formation Atoms for Peace, a group where he notably played keyboards alongside Yorke and Flea (bassist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers).

Godrich’s name is coming up a lot these days as he’s also behind the Arcade Fire roster’s return to form. Like Yorke, he is a maniac and an obsessive of sound research. And like Yorke, a music junkie, as he explained to the Guardian: “I can’t fall asleep if there’s music on, I can’t have sex if there’s music, because then my brain tunes into it and makes me unable to do anything else. »

Philippe GRELARD/AFP

Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood, two brains of the group Radiohead, join forces with Tom Skinner, drummer of the Sons of Kemet, a pioneering formation: here is The Smile, a new group that is bringing smiles back to the rock planet. Their album, released yesterday Friday in stores, is called A Light for Attracting Attention. “A light to attract attention”: we don’t…

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The intoxicating cocktail of the group The Smile


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