We don’t know much about Radiohead’s upcoming ninth album yet, but they’re embarking on a world tour in just a few weeks, and anticipation is building to a fever pitch. Today, the band have dropped another seemingly meaningful but oblique clue in the form of a mysterious leaflet mailed out to fans in the UK who have previously purchased items from Radiohead. The paper reads “Sing a song of sixpence that goes/ Burn the Witch/ We know where you live,” and it has Radiohead’s bear logo embossed on it.
Umm, I just got this in the post from Radiohead. Is the new album called Burn The Witch? pic.twitter.com/zv5QKnDeGh
— Niall Doherty (@NiallMDoherty) April 30, 2016
— Si (@SiTume) April 30, 2016
So what does it mean? Well, “Burn The Witch” is the name of an unreleased Radiohead song dating back to at least 2003, and it supposedly contains the lyrics “Sing a song of sixpence that goes/ Burn the witch.” And as some enterprising Redditors have discovered, according to Germanic folklore, Walpurgisnacht — or “Witches’ Night” — falls on either 4/30 (today) or 5/1 (tomorrow), depending on the year. Radiohead recently started two companies, Dawn Chorus LLP and Dawnchoruss LTD, and International Dawn Chorus Day is held on the first Sunday in May, which also happens to be tomorrow, 5/1.
So is LP9 coming out tomorrow? Is it called Burn The Witch? Who knows, but isn’t this exciting! Hear a little bit of “Burn The Witch,” which Thom Yorke has teased in a few live shows but never performed in full, below.
UPDATE: On Sunday morning, Radiohead’s website slowly started getting lighter and lighter, and by 2PM EST, it disappeared altogether. They seem to have blanked out their entire web presence — all posts have been deleted from their Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ accounts, and all profile pictures and cover photos are blank. It’s still not entirely clear what it all means, but there’s definitely something going on.
UPDATE 2: Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood’s Twitters have gone blank as well, but not the others members’ accounts. And Nigel Godrich tweeted this…
— nigel godrich (@nigelgod) May 2, 2016
UPDATE 3: There’s still no album, but something is finally happening! At around 1AM EST on Tuesday, as dawn was breaking in the UK, Radiohead posted the following clip of an animated bird chirping on Twitter, Facebook, and their brand new Instagram:
UPDATE 4: There’s more…