Back in August, Thom Yorke and Flea shared “Daily Battles” a beautiful slow-floating song that the two of them wrote for Motherless Brooklyn, Edward Norton’s ’50s-noir adaptation of the great Jonathan Lethem novel. Motherless Brooklyn has since theaters, and even though it got good reviews, it’s a confirmed mega-flop. But its Best Original Song Oscar hopes are alive! So maybe that’s why Yorke was on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show last night, performing “Daily Battles.”
Yorke was on Colbert just last month, though he was there to talk, not to play music. And since his solo album ANIMA came out earlier in the year, Yorke has been doing a bit more promo than usual; his extended Kimmel performance last month was something to see. But what he did last night on Colbert was very different.
Yorke only just performed “Daily Battles” live for the first time a few weeks ago. And on Colbert, he sat at center stage, singing the song and playing piano without outside accompaniment. (The recorded version of the song is still pretty spare, but it’s got a lot more going on than just voice and piano.) Yorke sang beautifully and really brought out the song’s luminous-lullaby side. And while Yorke can be a captivatingly fidgety performer, he is still able to hold audiences rapt even in his stillest moments. This performance was one of those. Watch it below.
The Motherless Brooklyn soundtrack is out now on Warner Bros.