These are not my twisted words


It’s been on-line for a few days and, as all memes do, has reproduced itself all over the place: a new Radiohead song, apparently. Leaked. On YouTube. Not a film clip – just a still accompanying the music. But there are a multitude of stills accompanying the same soundfile, entitled ‘These Are My Twisted Words’, all over the internet now.

I’ve chosen to share the one posted by ‘Jonnyswhore’ because I quite like the still [s]he’s provided. I’d like to think it’s from the sessions for ‘Harry Patch (In Memory Of)’ – Radiohead’s most recent official release, in honour of the last known surviving British soldier to have fought in World War I.

I don’t quite know what to make of this newest, leaked song. The first few seconds sound like a different song entirely – different drum beat, different music – until a disco beat – not unlike John Paul Young’s ‘Love Is In The Air’ – barges in over the top. (Okay, what’s happening is the drummer is ‘counting the band in’ just after the tape’s started rolling, guitars already strummed – maybe with a bit of whammy bar action; that’s what it sounds like. The [programmed?] disco beat was probably added later.)

The opening lead guitar motif sounds reminiscent of The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn-era Floyd; the falling melody as well as the tone of the guitar suggest ‘Astronomy Domine’ to me.

At about 2 minutes 13 seconds in, the bass line is suddenly Frank Zappa’s ‘Ya Hozna’ from Them Or Us. About midway through the track, just when you want to start singing ‘National Anthem’ from Kid A over the top, the lyrics kick in. By this time, the drums don’t sound so obtrusive.

‘These Are My Twisted Words’ apparently first appeared as an MP3 file, embedded with the following info (courtesy of ateaseweb – I’m not sure if that’s ‘at ease web’ or ‘a tease web’ – via stereogum):

iiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiii
iiiiiii radiohead - these are my twisted words iiiiiii
iiiiiii iiiiiii
iiii artist.......radiohead iiii
iiii title........these are my twisted words iiii
iiii label........?????????? iiii
iiii iiii
iiii style........'dificult' iiii
iiii nr of tracks.1 iiii
iiii total length..5.32 iiii
iiii audio source.CD Advance iiii
iiii encoder......LAME 3.93 iiii
iiii quality......320kbps/44.1kHz/Joint Stereo iiii
iiii size.........12,70 MB iiii
iiii[GG]er iiii
iiii iiii
iiii i just wanted to reassure readers iiii
iiii that following representations iiii
iiii seeking confirmation iiii
iiii that before your very eyes iiii
iiii behind the wall of ice iiii
iiii that the box is not under threat iiii
iiii however they are set to remove iiii
iiii other boxes iiii
iiii in fact i have the list in front of me iiii
iiii i went to a briefing on their plans iiii
iiii and challenged them to tell me iiii
iiiii exactly what the cost would be iiiiiii
iiiiii iiiiiiii
iiiiiii they spoke in broad terms iiiiiiiiii
iiiiiiiiiii we're looking for: talented puppeteers iiiiiiiiiii
iiiiiiiiii worms, disgruntled executives, sacked flies iiiiiiiiii
iiiiiiii genres: doomcore, folktronica, ukf iiiiiiii

I hope it leads to a new album. I also hope this is a work-in-progress, that the finished version is different to this, making this one special. That’s if it’s authentic. I think it is: despite all the things the different bits remind me of, together they make a song that sounds like bona fide Radiohead to me. Judge for yourself.

Thanks to John Brannan and Kip Williams