With all the makings of a good sci-fi flick about some musical rapture, Radiohead has mysteriously disappeared—at least online anyway. Piece by piece, the band has wholly dematerialized. Their Facebook page, their Twitter account, and their actual website are all present but empty. Even frontman Thom Yorke’s Twitter account is a wasteland now. No information whatsoever survived their purge; every picture gone, every text of theirs vanished. And no one knows why.
Reddit was the first to catch the disappearing act, noting that it wasn’t a sudden cry of MIA by any means. Instead, the somehow-forever-enigmatic band’s website literally faded away, with its opaqueness trudging further and further in total whiteness over time.
While it remains a mystery as to why, there’s naturally speculation and conjecture. There’s heavy talk of this having something to do with their ninth album that’s supposedly slated for June. “Supposedly” is the key word here, as it was a partner at the band’s management firm, Brian Message, not any band member himself, who cried June and then described the upcoming album in a way you could use for any Radiohead album really.
MESSAGE: “There’s nothing out there right now that sounds anything like this. And for some people that will be a good thing and for others that probably won’t.”
Radiohead later mentioned that Message’s message wasn’t made on their behalf at all and then sent out embossed cards to fans, reading, “Sing a song of sixpence that goes/Burn the Witch/We know where you live.”
So, honestly, I have no idea what Radiohead is doing now. If I found out they were building their own V for Vendetta-esque army to overthrow the music industry, it wouldn’t even phase me at this point. After the 2011 release of The King of Limbs had Yorke distributing free newspapers about the record to Londoners and 2007’s In Rainbows being the first pay-what-you-want offering for a major act (and all the wild moves of the band in all other endeavors), Radiohead could be releasing their new album on the deep web only for all I know. It could have a name that’s technically an ancient curse to wake the dead or a text decoded from Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves.
My best guess is that Radiohead was secretly a digital band all along—Gorillaz as more A.I. than art project—and they’ve returned to the binary ether to put us on our toes because they know something bad is coming, which could be anything from an alien computer virus to a plague that’s transmitted through social media. Either that or maybe this is going to be some fun mystery contest with clues, like, “Where in the world is Radiohead? Find them and win street spirit cred.” OR MAYBE THERE NEVER WAS A “RADIOHEAD!” Okay, this is insane. I need to calm down before I rabbit-hole this thing into my own personal version of Contact.