"Burn The Witch" The return of RADIOHEAD
"Burn The Witch"
THE RETURN OF RADIOHEAD
"Burn the Witch" is a song by English rock band Radiohead. Following a long recording history, it was released as a download on 3 May 2016, accompanied by a stop-motion animated music video that pays homage to the 1960s British children's television programme Camberwick Green and the 1973 British horror film The Wicker Man.
Available here http://x-l.co/btw and here http://hyperurl.co/904ulo
Radiohead: Burn the Witch review – a return the world might have hoped for https://t.co/ysUvrKYXZC— The Guardian (@guardian) May 4, 2016
Radiohead’s twitchy, anxious melodies express true apprehension about the future: https://t.co/eUsZqbCPbr pic.twitter.com/Jpp8MxyiIR— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) May 5, 2016
The stop-motion animated music video is in the style of Camberwick Green, following an abridged version of The Wicker Man. An inspector is greeted by the mayor of a town and is invited to see a series of strange and unsettling sights, culminating in his unveiling of a wicker man. The inspector is urged to climb up and into the wicker man, whereupon it is set on fire; as the wicker man burns down with the inspector inside it, the townspeople turn their backs and wave goodbye to the camera. After the songs ends, the inspector is seen to have somehow survived this ordeal.
The video was made by Chris Hopewell and was released on YouTube on 3 May 2016, receiving over 6 million views within 48 hours. Hopewell had previously directed the animated video for Radiohead's 2003 single "There There". According to Hopewell, the video was conceived and finished in 14 days, one week before its release.
"Burn the Witch" is an orchestral pop and art rock song. The track features part of the string section playing col legno, meaning that the players strike their strings with the stick of the bow rather than drawing the hair of the bow across the strings. According to Pitchfork, this "transforms the orchestra into another form of percussion, another beat adding to a vaguely electronic undercurrent pummelling the song forward ... [the string section] alternates between sumptuous flourishes and the darkest corners of The Shining’s score." Michael Hann of the Guardian described the song as "a burst of taut, tense music, driven by pizzicato strings".
The lyrics direct the listener to "abandon all reason / avoid all eye contact / do not react / shoot the messengers / burn the witch". Pitchfork interpreted them as a criticism of authority and a warning against groupthink, expressing a "deep sense of dread and skepticism". The Guardian felt the lyrics might address mass surveillance or "the difficulties of open discussion in an age where thought is scrutinised and policed by the public itself on social media"
Radiohead's "Burn the Witch" video was inspired by the European refugee crisis https://t.co/ptNU7dVaFx pic.twitter.com/tTRkwr47Pm— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) May 5, 2016
Radiohead animator says Islamophobia & "Wicker Man" influenced eerie "Burn the Witch" video https://t.co/i3hPEqfAnB pic.twitter.com/EYSyP1xkxH— billboard (@billboard) May 5, 2016
Radiohead's Burn the Witch may be critique of refugee crisis, says animator https://t.co/ypLg0C7f4t— The Guardian (@guardian) May 5, 2016
Director - Chris Hopewell
Producer - Rosie Lea Brind
Editor - Ben Foley
DOP - Jon Davey
Art Director & Production Designer - Chris Hopewell
Post effects and grading - Ben Foley at Buckloop
Key Animators - Virpi Kettu, Louie Mc Namara, Oli Putland
Animators - Aaron Hopewell, Andrew Stewart, Rosie Lea Brind, Chris Hopewell
Set construction - Holly Jo Beck, Lois Garland
Puppets and props - Elaine Andrew, Virpi Kettu, Bonnie Griffin, Lucy Roberts, Ash Clarke, Ella Baraclough, Bec Coates, Rosie Lea Brind, Chris Hopewell, Andrew Stuart
Production company - Jacknife
Pitchfork named "Burn the Witch" as "Best New Track", with senior editor Jillian Mapes writing: "It's not since Kid A standout 'How to Disappear Completely' that Radiohead have created a song this simultaneously unsettling and gorgeous."Michael Hann of The Guardian called it "thrilling... certainly the kind of return – bold and expansive, as well as dark and claustrophobic – that the world might have hoped for". Larry Bartleet of NME wrote: "A Radiohead melody has rarely sounded this joyful or indulgent, which puts the disturbing lyrics into especially sharp relief."
"RADIOHEAD - Burn The Witch" by wikipedia (CC BY)
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