Just seven days ago, Thom Yorke announced the release of ANIMA, his new solo album. And he also announced that he’d teamed up with director Paul Thomas Anderson — a longtime Radiohead collaborator and, according to many, the greatest director alive — for a short-film companion piece. One week is not a whole lot of time. But today, ANIMA is out in the world — both in album and in short-film form.
Our own Chris DeVille reviewed ANIMA yesterday, and it’s very much in the tradition of Yorke’s solo records. Like much of his past work, the nine-song, 48-minute LP layers Yorke’s permanently queasy and anxious voice over quiet, unsettling electronic beat-patterns. It’s pretty and unsettling in equal measures — background music for the late-capitalist apocalypse.
The accompanying short film — a “one-reeler,” per old-timey film parlance — only lasts about 15 minutes, and it qualifies as a sort of absurdist comedy. Yorke plays an anonymous worker-drone, one who experiences all sorts of humiliations and injustices on his morning commute. It plays out as part silent comedy and part dance recital, and Yorke’s girlfriend, Italian actress Dajana Roncione, plays his idealized-love dance partner. The short film debuted in IMAX theaters last night, and it’s on Netflix now. You can watch it here. Meanwhile, you can stream the album below.
ANIMA is out now on Unsustainabubble Ltd./XL Recordings.