The Smile Announce Debut Album A Light For Attracting Attention, Share “Free In The Knowledge”

The Smile Announce Debut Album A Light For Attracting Attention, Share “Free In The Knowledge”

Ever since their inception last year, the Smile — aka Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood and Sons Of Kemet’s Tom Skinner — have seemingly been doing everything BUT release an album. They’ve mapped out a European tour, played livestreamed concerts, shared cover songs, and released singes such as “The Smoke,” “Skrting On The Surface,” the Peaky Blinders-debuted “Pana-vision,” and “You Will Never Work In Television Again.” Well, the moment is finally here.

The Smile have announced their debut album, A Light For Attracting Attention, coming May 13 via XL Recordings. Along with the news is another new song “Free in the Knowledge,” which Yorke first debuted last year at a Letters Live event at London’s Royal Albert Hall (his first performance since the start of the pandemic).

A Light For Attracting Attention, which was one of our most anticipated releases of 2022, is produced and mixed by Nigel Godrich and mastered by Bob Ludwig. The tracks feature strings by the London Contemporary Orchestra plus a full brass section of contemporary UK jazz players, including Byron Wallen, Theon and Nathaniel Cross, Chelsea Carmichael, Robert Stillman, and Jason Yarde.

As for “Free In The Knowledge,” the song has an accompanying video directed by Leo Leigh. Check it out below, along with a note from Greenwood and the new album’s tracklist.

And finally! A release date, a new song, the art work that Thom and Stanley have been painting all winter — and a sense that we will get to share, at last, our new music in full.

I feel grateful that we managed, with Nigel’s help, to record these songs in a way they deserve. And the singles released so far have been liked — as far as I can tell — which makes me feel dangerously confident in the rest of the record. As the all-knowing algorithm has it, if you liked that, you’ll love this, right? Hope so. Aside from anything, the brass and strings players who helped out — I really can’t wait for you to hear all their work too.

So yes, we’re properly proud and excited for everyone to have the whole thing — but, it’s been a drawn out process so far, with so many single songs released. I can only apologise for our tentativeness. Patience is a virtue, but then, so are sobriety and humility — and they’re not happening either. Nor can we persuade Apple Music to stop greying-out the titles of the unreleased tracks (the teases!) — but, come May 13th, everything will be out there, instead of in here.

As we prepare to play this all live, a small part of me views the record as a way of getting people familiar with the songs first. This is short sighted, but as I type this, I can’t really think beyond the first chord of the first concert in Croatia because that’s where so much of the excitement is for me. Live concerts are short-sighted, short-lived things, and all the more vital because of it.

But really, the record still feels worth your time — both the time spent waiting, and the time we’re asking you to invest in hearing it — which is all I can hope for. I’m listening to it constantly, long after I should have had enough, so maybe that’s the right, long-sighted view of this. I hope you have the same experience.

Best wishes,


01 “The Same”
02 “The Opposite”
03 “You Will Never Work In Television Again”
04 “Pana-vision”
05 “The Smoke”
06 “Speech Bubbles”
07 “Thin Thing”
08 “Open The Floodgates”
09 “Free In The Knowledge”
10 “A Hairdryer”
11 “Waving A White Flag”
12 “We Don’t Know What Tomorrow Brings”
13 “Skrting On The Surface”

A Light For Attracting Attention is out 5/13 via XL Recordings. Pre-order it below.

Alex Lake

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