Jon Hopkins has shared an utterly blissful reimagining of Thom Yorke song ‘Dawn Chorus’.
The track originally featured on the Radiohead frontman’s 2019 record Anima and he had been flirting with the idea of ‘Dawn Chorus’ all the way since the band created In Rainbows but something just wasn’t right. “I was trying to develop how ‘Dawn Chorus‘ was going to work, and find the right combinations on the synthesizers I was using. Couldn’t find it, tried it again and again and again,” Yorke told Apple Music in 2019.
“I knew when I found it I would have my way into the song. Things like that matter to me – they are sort of obsessive, but there is an emotional connection. I was deliberately trying to find something as cold as possible to go with it, like I sing essentially one-note all the way through.”
Hopkins’ take on the track is almost entirely piano-based and there are no vocals on his version, which lets the mind wander to wherever it pleases. His reimagining also feels more chilled out and considerably less anxiety-inducing than Yorke’s, whilst still holding that emotive feel that pours out of every note of the original.
“I felt such bliss the first time I heard this piece – it seemed so mysterious and hypnotic, oblique but warm,” Hopkins says. “I thought there was so much beauty in that chord sequence that there was room to explore it on the piano and see what grew from it.
“One day in early April when everything was particularly quiet and surreal outside, I went into my studio for the first time in weeks and ended up recording the whole thing in one take. I left it very raw and upfront, with just some sub bass and vocal drones in the background. The whole thing was done in a day and was a very cathartic experience.”
Take a few minutes out of your day and bliss out to ‘Dawn Chorus’.