If you like cryptic Radiohead news (which is basically all Radiohead news) this has been a good week for you. Over the weekend, reports surfaced that eerie leaflets teasing something called “Burn the Witch” had been appearing at U.K. fans’ homes. Then on Sunday, the band’s internet presence began disappearing, until all of their social media accounts contained nothing but a brief video of a chirping animated bird. The vanishing act is still unexplained, but the bird isn’t: It was a teaser for the full-length video of “Burn the Witch,” the band’s first new single since “Spectre” arrived last December.
Directed by Chris Hopewell, the video is done in the classic stop-motion style, and features a very Wicker Man-esque plot. An inspector of sorts, straight-laced and stuffy in his bowler hat, arrives in a seemingly idyllic village, where a town elder shows him around. At first things look placid and pretty, but they quickly get weird. As the song’s percussive drive, accented by Thom Yorke’s near-operatic vocal, builds and builds to a frenzy, our inspector character learns that he’s getting more than he’s bargained for. If this were live-action, it wouldn’t be half as creepy.
“Burn the Witch” is on sale tomorrow.