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The Smile|Wall Of Eyes

Wall Of Eyes

The Smile

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January is barely ending, and here we already have one of the finest albums of 2024. The triumvirate formed by the two geniuses of Radiohead, Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood, and Sons Of Kemet's drummer, Tom Skinner, under the banner of The Smile, wastes no time. Exactly one year after their surprise revelation on the Glastonbury livestream (thanks to the pandemic) in 2021, the trio released their first full-length album, A Light For Attracting Attention. With it, the complex and fascinating universe of the Oxford quintet is finally revisited—minus Colin Greenwood, Ed O’Brien, and Phil Selway—while gaining grandeur through the strings of the London Contemporary Orchestra, already at work in 2016 on Radiohead's A Moon Shaped Pool, as well as the most prominent brass and winds from the London jazz scene (including Chelsea Charmichael and Robert Stillman).

More compact, Wall Of Eyes lets warmth in. Opening the way with only seven other tracks, the title track teleports us to the tropics with its bossa acoustic guitar and Yorke's reverberating vocals. The smooth synths of a nearly R&B "Teleharmonic" follow, leading to the riffs of "Read The Room" and "Under The Pillows," creating a trippy rock passage. We then enter the dreamy piano ballad "Friend Of A Friend" and almost drown in the synthetic layers of "I Quit" before the deluge of distortions in the eight-minute "Bendic Hectic" explodes after an anxiety-inducing violin ascent. "You Know Me!" draws the curtain with the gentle piano, providing a final that's as cinematic as ever. Recorded at the legendary Abbey Road studios, with Sam Petts-Davies taking the place of the faithful producer Nigel Godrich, this second album showcases a trio in full alchemy, increasingly inspired by Can rather than the Beatles, and completely seasoned by their live shows. A masterpiece. © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz

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Wall Of Eyes

The Smile

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1
Wall Of Eyes
00:05:05

Greg Calbi, MasteringEngineer - Richard Jones, StudioMusician - Thom Yorke, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ian Anderson, StudioMusician - Marianne Haynes, StudioMusician - Jonny Greenwood, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Skinner, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Brown, StudioMusician - Kirsty Mangan, StudioMusician - Matthew Kettle, StudioMusician - Zoe Martlew, StudioMusician - Warner Chappell Music Publishing Ltd., MusicPublisher - Charlotte Bonneton, StudioMusician - Jonny Byers, StudioMusician - Hugh Brunt, Conductor - Sergio Serra, StudioMusician - WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC PUBLISHING, MusicPublisher - Billy Cole, StudioMusician - Hannah Dawson, StudioMusician - Sam Petts-Davies, Producer, MixingEngineer - Clare O'Connell, StudioMusician - Brian O'Kane, StudioMusician - Warp Publishing, MusicPublisher - Roger Linley, StudioMusician - London Contemporary Orchestra, Orchestra - David Lale, StudioMusician - James Douglas, StudioMusician - Nicholas Bootiman, StudioMusician - Max Ruisi, StudioMusician - Eloisa-Fleur Thom, StudioMusician - Nadine Nagen, StudioMusician - Violeta Barrena, StudioMusician - Antonia Kesel, StudioMusician - Alessandro Ruisi, StudioMusician - Nicola Hicks, StudioMusician - Radhika de Saram, StudioMusician - Venetia Jollands, StudioMusician - CMRRA, MusicPublisher - Nicole Crespo O'Donoghue, StudioMusician - Matthew Maguire, StudioMusician - Anna Ovsyanikova, StudioMusician - Edward McCullagh, StudioMusician - Cara Laskaris, StudioMusician - Nicola Davenport, StudioMusician - Amy Swain, StudioMusician - Sasha Scott, StudioMusician - The Smile, MainArtist - Stephanie Edmunson, StudioMusician

2024 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd 2023 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd

2
Teleharmonic
00:05:10

Greg Calbi, MasteringEngineer - Thom Yorke, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jonny Greenwood, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Skinner, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Warner Chappell Music Publishing Ltd., MusicPublisher - WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC PUBLISHING, MusicPublisher - Sam Petts-Davies, Producer, MixingEngineer - Warp Publishing, MusicPublisher - CMRRA, MusicPublisher - The Smile, MainArtist

2024 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd 2024 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd

3
Read The Room Explicit
00:05:14

Greg Calbi, MasteringEngineer - Thom Yorke, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jonny Greenwood, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Skinner, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Warner Chappell Music Publishing Ltd., MusicPublisher - WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC PUBLISHING, MusicPublisher - Sam Petts-Davies, Producer, MixingEngineer - Warp Publishing, MusicPublisher - Peter Wareham, AssociatedPerformer - Robert Stillman, StudioMusician - CMRRA, MusicPublisher - The Smile, MainArtist

2024 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd 2024 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd

4
Under Our Pillows
00:06:14

Greg Calbi, MasteringEngineer - Thom Yorke, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jonny Greenwood, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Skinner, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Warner Chappell Music Publishing Ltd., MusicPublisher - WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC PUBLISHING, MusicPublisher - Sam Petts-Davies, Producer, MixingEngineer - Warp Publishing, MusicPublisher - CMRRA, MusicPublisher - The Smile, MainArtist

2024 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd 2024 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd

5
Friend Of A Friend
00:04:35

Greg Calbi, MasteringEngineer - Richard Jones, StudioMusician - Thom Yorke, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ian Anderson, StudioMusician - Marianne Haynes, StudioMusician - Jonny Greenwood, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Skinner, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Brown, StudioMusician - Kirsty Mangan, StudioMusician - Matthew Kettle, StudioMusician - Zoe Martlew, StudioMusician - Warner Chappell Music Publishing Ltd., MusicPublisher - Charlotte Bonneton, StudioMusician - Jonny Byers, StudioMusician - Hugh Brunt, Conductor - Sergio Serra, StudioMusician - WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC PUBLISHING, MusicPublisher - Billy Cole, StudioMusician - Hannah Dawson, StudioMusician - Sam Petts-Davies, Producer, MixingEngineer - Clare O'Connell, StudioMusician - Brian O'Kane, StudioMusician - Warp Publishing, MusicPublisher - Roger Linley, StudioMusician - London Contemporary Orchestra, Orchestra - David Lale, StudioMusician - James Douglas, StudioMusician - Nicholas Bootiman, StudioMusician - Max Ruisi, StudioMusician - Eloisa-Fleur Thom, StudioMusician - Nadine Nagen, StudioMusician - Violeta Barrena, StudioMusician - Antonia Kesel, StudioMusician - Alessandro Ruisi, StudioMusician - Nicola Hicks, StudioMusician - Radhika de Saram, StudioMusician - Venetia Jollands, StudioMusician - CMRRA, MusicPublisher - Nicole Crespo O'Donoghue, StudioMusician - Matthew Maguire, StudioMusician - Anna Ovsyanikova, StudioMusician - Edward McCullagh, StudioMusician - Cara Laskaris, StudioMusician - Nicola Davenport, StudioMusician - Amy Swain, StudioMusician - Sasha Scott, StudioMusician - The Smile, MainArtist - Stephanie Edmunson, StudioMusician

2024 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd 2024 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd

6
I Quit
00:05:32

Greg Calbi, MasteringEngineer - Thom Yorke, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jonny Greenwood, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Skinner, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Warner Chappell Music Publishing Ltd., MusicPublisher - WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC PUBLISHING, MusicPublisher - Sam Petts-Davies, Producer, MixingEngineer - Warp Publishing, MusicPublisher - CMRRA, MusicPublisher - The Smile, MainArtist

2024 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd 2024 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd

7
Bending Hectic
00:08:03

Greg Calbi, MasteringEngineer - Richard Jones, StudioMusician - Thom Yorke, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ian Anderson, StudioMusician - Marianne Haynes, StudioMusician - Jonny Greenwood, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Skinner, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Brown, StudioMusician - Kirsty Mangan, StudioMusician - Matthew Kettle, StudioMusician - Zoe Martlew, StudioMusician - Warner Chappell Music Publishing Ltd., MusicPublisher - Charlotte Bonneton, StudioMusician - Jonny Byers, StudioMusician - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Hugh Brunt, Conductor - Sergio Serra, StudioMusician - WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC PUBLISHING, MusicPublisher - Billy Cole, StudioMusician - Hannah Dawson, StudioMusician - Sam Petts-Davies, Producer, MixingEngineer - Clare O'Connell, StudioMusician - Brian O'Kane, StudioMusician - Warp Publishing, MusicPublisher - Roger Linley, StudioMusician - London Contemporary Orchestra, Orchestra - David Lale, StudioMusician - James Douglas, StudioMusician - Nicholas Bootiman, StudioMusician - Max Ruisi, StudioMusician - Eloisa-Fleur Thom, StudioMusician - Nadine Nagen, StudioMusician - Violeta Barrena, StudioMusician - Antonia Kesel, StudioMusician - Alessandro Ruisi, StudioMusician - Nicola Hicks, StudioMusician - Radhika de Saram, StudioMusician - Venetia Jollands, StudioMusician - Nicole Crespo O'Donoghue, StudioMusician - Matthew Maguire, StudioMusician - Anna Ovsyanikova, StudioMusician - Edward McCullagh, StudioMusician - Cara Laskaris, StudioMusician - Nicola Davenport, StudioMusician - Amy Swain, StudioMusician - Sasha Scott, StudioMusician - The Smile, MainArtist - Stephanie Edmunson, StudioMusician

2024 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd 2023 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd

8
You Know Me!
00:05:21

Greg Calbi, MasteringEngineer - Richard Jones, StudioMusician - Thom Yorke, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ian Anderson, StudioMusician - Marianne Haynes, StudioMusician - Jonny Greenwood, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Skinner, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Brown, StudioMusician - Kirsty Mangan, StudioMusician - Matthew Kettle, StudioMusician - Zoe Martlew, StudioMusician - Warner Chappell Music Publishing Ltd., MusicPublisher - Charlotte Bonneton, StudioMusician - Jonny Byers, StudioMusician - Hugh Brunt, Conductor - Sergio Serra, StudioMusician - WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC PUBLISHING, MusicPublisher - Billy Cole, StudioMusician - Hannah Dawson, StudioMusician - Sam Petts-Davies, Producer, MixingEngineer - Clare O'Connell, StudioMusician - Brian O'Kane, StudioMusician - Warp Publishing, MusicPublisher - Roger Linley, StudioMusician - London Contemporary Orchestra, Orchestra - David Lale, StudioMusician - James Douglas, StudioMusician - Nicholas Bootiman, StudioMusician - Max Ruisi, StudioMusician - Eloisa-Fleur Thom, StudioMusician - Nadine Nagen, StudioMusician - Violeta Barrena, StudioMusician - Antonia Kesel, StudioMusician - Alessandro Ruisi, StudioMusician - Nicola Hicks, StudioMusician - Radhika de Saram, StudioMusician - Venetia Jollands, StudioMusician - CMRRA, MusicPublisher - Nicole Crespo O'Donoghue, StudioMusician - Matthew Maguire, StudioMusician - Anna Ovsyanikova, StudioMusician - Edward McCullagh, StudioMusician - Cara Laskaris, StudioMusician - Nicola Davenport, StudioMusician - Amy Swain, StudioMusician - Sasha Scott, StudioMusician - The Smile, MainArtist - Stephanie Edmunson, StudioMusician

2024 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd 2024 Self Help Tapes LLP under exclusive licence to XL Recordings Ltd

Album review

January is barely ending, and here we already have one of the finest albums of 2024. The triumvirate formed by the two geniuses of Radiohead, Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood, and Sons Of Kemet's drummer, Tom Skinner, under the banner of The Smile, wastes no time. Exactly one year after their surprise revelation on the Glastonbury livestream (thanks to the pandemic) in 2021, the trio released their first full-length album, A Light For Attracting Attention. With it, the complex and fascinating universe of the Oxford quintet is finally revisited—minus Colin Greenwood, Ed O’Brien, and Phil Selway—while gaining grandeur through the strings of the London Contemporary Orchestra, already at work in 2016 on Radiohead's A Moon Shaped Pool, as well as the most prominent brass and winds from the London jazz scene (including Chelsea Charmichael and Robert Stillman).

More compact, Wall Of Eyes lets warmth in. Opening the way with only seven other tracks, the title track teleports us to the tropics with its bossa acoustic guitar and Yorke's reverberating vocals. The smooth synths of a nearly R&B "Teleharmonic" follow, leading to the riffs of "Read The Room" and "Under The Pillows," creating a trippy rock passage. We then enter the dreamy piano ballad "Friend Of A Friend" and almost drown in the synthetic layers of "I Quit" before the deluge of distortions in the eight-minute "Bendic Hectic" explodes after an anxiety-inducing violin ascent. "You Know Me!" draws the curtain with the gentle piano, providing a final that's as cinematic as ever. Recorded at the legendary Abbey Road studios, with Sam Petts-Davies taking the place of the faithful producer Nigel Godrich, this second album showcases a trio in full alchemy, increasingly inspired by Can rather than the Beatles, and completely seasoned by their live shows. A masterpiece. © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz

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