Don’t produce an album for 5 years. Shroud your website. Delete your social media accounts. Go viral through traditional mail.
Don’t try this at home.
Unless you’re the remarkably off-beat experimental rock band Radiohead.
Then do whatever you want.
— radiohead lyrics (@radioheadlyrics) May 1, 2016
Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a drill. Radiohead have started a viral marketing campaign. By post. #burnthewitch
— Neil MacQuarrie (@indiecisiveblog) April 30, 2016
— Jake Thompson (@thomjaco) April 30, 2016
On April 29, the above tweets began appearing en masse after fans received postcards that included messages such as “We know where you live” and “Sing a song of Sixpence”. Enthusiasts rushed to Radiohead’s website and social media streams only to find them dark and empty. That is, until Tuesday, May 3 when Radiohead lit up their site to release the first song entitled “Burn the Witch”, off their untitled upcoming new album, choosing Instagram as its promotion channel and pushing out to Facebook and Twitter:
The controversial song name alone is enough to cause a stir but combined with the fan generated build-up and the stop motion production value, the surprising release has generated over 1,300 articles, over 42K Instagram likes, 8,268 Facebook shares and over 9,500 YouTube comments since Tuesday.
“Today the first new song from the band’s first album in five years has dropped, and it’s both a great new number and as casually disturbing as what we’ve come to expect from Radiohead.”
“The orchestral and menacing “Burn the Witch” is a heavy departure musically from the band’s last LP The King of Limbs.”
Daniel Krepps, Rolling Stone
While writing this post, Radiohead released another song entitled “Daydreaming” and announced its full album release will be May 8 at 7 p.m. As a fan, the slow release and anticipation is thrilling. If their last album reveal left a bitter taste in your mouth and yearning for more as it did for me (five songs? Please sir….can I have some more?), that’s been wiped away by the perfect creative strategy and production of this latest album release campaign.
Now, sit back and enjoy the musical ride that is Radiohead. You’re welcome.