The Smile delivered a three-song set for the latest edition of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series – watch it below.
The band – comprising Radiohead‘s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood along with Sons of Kemet‘s Tom Skinner – stopped by the NPR office to perform songs from their debut album ‘A Light For Attracting Attention’.
Joined by saxophonist Robert Stillman for the performance, the band played ‘Pana-vision’, ‘The Smoke’, and finished with ‘Skrting on the Surface’.
Speaking about the performance, Tiny Desk host and producer Bob Boilen said: “They arrived early, along with saxophonist Robert Stillman, to test out several tunes and figure out just what made sense behind my desk — minus the volume and effects that shape the album’s sonic landscape. For roughly 90 minutes, the Tiny Desk crew was treated to a casual rehearsal, witnessing the band’s creative companionship work itself out, settling on four songs.”
He continued: “For keen eyes, you’ll see Thom Yorke being handed a guitar for the second tune but all of a sudden he’s playing bass while Jonny Greenwood’s bass is suddenly a guitar. They had recorded another tune before “The Smoke,” but it didn’t make the final cut; they weren’t happy with their performance.
“The set ends with my favourite song, “Skrting On the Surface,” and we hear the vocals, guitar, bass and drums weaving so perfectly with lyrics that remind us how fragile our lives are and for me how these magical moments can be transcendent.”
The band made their live debut in 2021 with a performance for Glastonbury’s Live at Worthy Farm concert video, which streamed in May that year.
Their debut single, ‘You Will Never Work In Television Again’, was released in January last year, followed by ‘The Smoke’, ‘Skrting On The Surface’ and ‘Pana-vision’.
They were followed by the release of ‘A Light For Attracting Attention’ in May, which was listed as one of NME’s best albums of 2022.
Last month, it was announced that The Smile would release a live album recorded during their set at last year’s Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. The digital-only release arrived on streaming platforms on December 14.