Radiohead, 'These Are My Twisted Words': It's real, and it's free

Radiohead has offered a new song titled “These Are My Twisted Words” for free download through the band’s official site as well as via BitTorrent, answering many of the questions raised when the track leaked under mysterious circumstances last week. “So here’s a new song, called ‘These Are My Twisted Words,'” wrote guitarist Jonny Greenwood in a blog entry posted early this morning. “We’ve been recording for a while, and this was one of the first we finished. We’re pretty proud of it.”

In other (untwisted?) words: “These Are My Twisted Words” is definitely a real Radiohead song, and it’s definitely ready for the public to hear. (You can stream the leaked version below if you don’t feel like downloading the high-quality MP3.) A five-and-a-half-minute tune that opens with three minutes of ominous vocal-free krautrock, it’s one of the strangest things Radiohead has released in years. As a serious Radiohead fan with a taste for the weird and unconventional in music, I couldn’t be happier. But what about all those other rumors surrounding “These Are My Twisted Words”? Read more tea-leaf parsing after the jump.

Speculation had hypertrophied over the weekend as fans scrambled to decipher cryptic hints in the info text that was attached to the original leaked MP3. One popular theory held that a whole new Radiohead EP, perhaps titled Wall of Ice, would be released today. While I suppose that could technically still be a possibility, it’s seeming awfully unlikely now — especially since wallofice.com, a tantalizing URL that was registered in the midst of all the hubbub, has revealed itself as a fake. “Don’t just publish bulls— only to get hits on your webpage,” warns wallofice.com’s anonymous proprietor on the site today. “Get your facts straight.” Will do!

Nonetheless, it seems more likely than ever (to me, at least) that Radiohead was behind the leak of “These Are My Twisted Words” last week. The ASCII art that accompanied the leak looks suspiciously like the 15-page tracing-paper PDF booklet that comes with the official MP3 currently being given away by the band. And who else but the band would have had access to what is evidently a one-off song that Radiohead was preparing to offer directly through its own site? Radiohead’s reps haven’t replied to my request for clarification on the source of last week’s leak.

In any case, we Radiohead fans have lots to be happy about today, even without the Wall of Ice EP that we appear to have imagined in our wishful excitement. Greenwood’s blog post continued: “There’s other stuff in various states of completion, but ['These Are My Twisted Words'] is one we’ve been practicing, and which we’ll probably play at this summer’s concerts. Hope you like it.” Speaking for myself here, I like it very much — and I like the implication that we might get to hear “other stuff” in the near-ish future even more!

What do you think, my fellow Radiohead junkies? Is “These Are My Twisted Words” not truly awesome? Do you think the band leaked it last week, or are they just playing catch-up? And what do you hope they have in store for us in the weeks and months to come?

More from EW’s Music Mix:
Radiohead track(?) “These Are My Twisted Words” leaks mysteriously
Guilty pleasures bracket revealed!
Sonic Youth to perform on Gossip Girl: A Music Mix exclusive
Joe Henry: exclusive stream

Comments (22 total) Add your comment
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  • Tim Gregorek

    Just downloaded – I like the instrumental part better than the vocal part, but is a good song. I like how the dissident guitar plays off the skitterish beat. Although I think it sounds more like an In Rainbow b-side than a major Radiohead release.

  • Lynne B

    This is a great song- atmospheric and haunting.

  • libelle

    nice article :)
    i’m loving the song, i’ll pay them for this by attending any of their concert that are in australia. oh, snap.

    • Taylor King

      I need them to come to Australia!!

  • New Radiohead!!!

    The song is new, it’s free, and it’s very bland sounding (that is, it’s nothing to get excited about). As Tim said, it sounds like a b-side.

  • Joe C

    I have heard so much about Radiohead, I know so little about them. I wanna check them out. Anyone have any advice on where I should start? Simon, you can weigh in!!!!!

    • Kalie

      “Kid A” is another great one to try. “Everything in it’s Right Place” and “Idioteque” are two of my personal favorites from Radiohead. When I first got into them, “Kid A” and the other albums already listed were what I started with and I also downloaded “Creep” (of course). :)

      • alexander

        Let’s not scare him away Kalie.

        JOe, why don’t you start with OK computer, and if you like it, switch over to the bends or hail to the thief. if you like hail to the thief then try in rainbows, kid a, amnesiac is oh so scary tho…so watch out.

    • Taylor King

      Definetely The Bends or Ok Computer. They are the easiest to listen to of Radiohead’s work.

      • C.R.

        I think Kid A is for people who can handle more atmospheres, sounds and emotional depths but there are melodies and it is my favorite Radiohead album.

        This new song sounds like the warmth of In Rainbows with the creativity of Kid A. Great combination.

  • Simon Vozick-Levinson

    @Joe C: Start with 1995’s The Bends, 1997’s OK Computer, and/or 2007’s In Rainbows – those are the most accessible entry points to the Radiohead catalog for sure. If you like those, then you can move on to the stronger stuff ;)

    • Patrick

      Joe C,
      I completely agree with Simon’s post. Good advice on albums to start with.
      I also agree that this new song is sort of bland. I much prefer the cover of “All for the Best” they recently did for the Ciao My Shining Star album.

  • Dave

    Digging this “ominous Krautrock” turn. Always wanted to hear more of the Can/Neu influence come through. I think it is going to be one of those tracks that sticks in the deep parts of the brain even though there is no obvious hook or poppy melody. Well done I say.

    • C.R.

      I do hear the motorik, haha. Neu is great, btw.

  • Monty

    Bland? I think not.

  • Kalie

    Great song. I can’t wait for a new Radiohead album. “In Rainbows” was fantastic. From everything I’ve heard about Radiohead, I’m sure they’re the ones who leaked this track.

  • Creeptones

    I’m loving the new song. I’m glad people are trying to figure out if they are releasing new stuff, whether they are or not. Adds to the excitement of new material i think. Also interesting that perhaps we are beginning to enter the new age of music distribution.

    Glad people’s comments on here are actually relevant and not the flamewars that occur on stereogum.

  • couchgrouch

    I bought The Bends and OK Computer and they put me to sleep. this sounds exactly the same…just a bunch of ultra simple echoey guitar and nonsense lyrics. don’t listen to this aural sedative before operating machinery.

    • Tulicon Trapadesiac

      Aural sedative my ass!

  • Kerry

    If you are a Radiohead newbie, here are my personal best songs from each album for a total of 17 songs. These songs make up 75% of the set-lists at Radiohead live concerts. Put them all on 1 CD and save yourself some money by only buying these songs:

    Pablo Honey – Creep

    The Bends – Street Spirit ( Fade Out), My Iron Lung, Green Plastic Trees

    OK Computer – Paranoid Android, Karma Police, No Surprises, Lucky

    Kid A – Everything in its right place, National Anthem, Optimistic

    Amnesiac – this is a lousy album chock full of b-sides

    Hail To The Thief – There There,A Wolf at the Door

    In Rainbows – Nude, Reckoner, House of Cards, 15 Step

    My Favorite Top 7 Radiohead songs:

    1. There There
    2. Paranoid Android
    3. Karma Police
    4. Lucky
    5. Everything In Its Right Place
    6. No Surprises
    7. National Anthem

  • john

    Although the song is simple, it still has the aspects of Radiohead’s absolute brilliant songwriting which makes them one of the best bands on the planet. One of the only rock bands that actually plays through-composed music well.

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