Hot New Joint: "Youwouldn'tlikemewhenI'mangry" by Thom Yorke

“Music journalism” and news tends to grind to a halt around the holidays. Same goes for, like, “real” news too—given how quiet it’s been in the newsroom at my day job lately. But occasionally, something of marginal importance will happen over the two week period of time folks consider to be a holiday, and someone will have to rewrite that press release and post a new story.

On December 26th, while we were off watching a Cirque Du Soleil performance with my family, having our minds blown by what exactly we were supposed to be paying attention to, Thom Yorke, the gawd himself, released a new-ish solo track, culled from the sessions from his Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes LP—unveiling it via a new Bandcamp site he set up for people to purchase said album, as well as ephemera relating to it.

Never did I think I would see “” as a website, but hey, these are very modern times we live in.

“Youwouldn’tlikemewhenI’mangry,” (yes, all one word) wouldn’t seem out of place tucked in somewhere on Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, but at the same time, that album is so self contained, I’m not exactly sure where you could sandwich it in. Within the last eight years or so, Yorke has proven himself to be somewhat of a decent self-editor—referring to his first solo album The Eraser, as “one lean fucker.” In fact, nothing he’s been associated with since In Rainbows, has clocked in at over 10 songs.

The track maintains the skittering beep boops that he has a penchant for, but it’s one of the more human-sounding electronic tracks from the Modern Boxes sessions, with Yorke showing a surprising amount of emotion behind another restrained, minimal vocal performance, with a mournful, haunting and slightly dissonant keyboard sound echoing his voice, opening this track into a much larger scale.

“Youwouldn’tlikemewhenI’mangry” is slightly self aware, to an extent, due to Yorke’s repeating of the lyric, “You’ve built this up,” as, well, the music continues to swell and build behind him. It’s a surprisingly powerful effect, making the track one of the more somber, contemplative of Yorke’s solo canon.

The criticism coming from some is that Radiohead hasn’t sounded like a “band” since 2007. The King of Limbs, for the most part, was driven by Yorke’s penchant for keyboards and laptop beats, same as his “don’t call us a supergroup” turn with the side projects Atoms For Peace. When Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes came out, there seemed to be a collective groan of sorts for a subset of fans that have grown weary of hearing the same skittering beep boops, and want the guy to plug in a guitar again.

Sure, it’d be nice if Radiohead were in the studio right now (which they are) making another “rock” record, but I kind of doubt it. Or heck, maybe they are, and it’s tracks like this and albums like Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes that are serving as Yorke’s outlets for what kind of music he wants to make outside of the band setting.

Whether you’ve run out of patience with the band or not, “Youwouldn’tlikemewhenI’mangry” is a reminder that even when Thom Yorke is operating without the safety net of four other individuals, he’s still making music worth listening to, and that is more interested and complex than, like 90% of what you hear in contemporary pop music today. It serves as a reminder that we should be thankful for that fact, and that maybe, just maybe, your tastes should grow and expand along with the artists you like, rather than becoming stunted and grumbling “Why can’t they make another album that sounds like The Bends?”

"Youwouldn'tlikemewhenI'mangry" is available now, for free, from the gawd's own Bandcamp site.