Tune-Yards are having quite a week for themselves. The Oakland-based band just released their sixth album, sketchy, along with that album’s first single and music video, ‘hypnotized’.
To keep adding onto the pile of new Tune-Yard tunes, the band has released their own version of Radiohead’s glitchy Y2K-obsessed banger ‘Idioteque’.
Probably because it’s just a live cover for the Sirius XMU Sessions, the new version doesn’t stray all that far from the original’s trip-hop techno glory. A few new bits of random noise sprinkled throughout, especially in the bridge’s breakdown, along a quite soothing a cappella section, but you can still tell within about 10 seconds what song they are covering. For the most part, the track is less apocalyptic and more anticlimactic. You are probably better off listening to Tune-Yards play their own music.
‘Idioteque’ is famously the eighth track on Radiohead’s seldom heard and infrequently referenced fourth album Kid A, which, in all seriousness, is looking more and more like the ur-text for almost all indie music that has come out over the past 20 years or so.
Are you guys ready for a hot take? The ‘cut-up’ technique of writing lyrics, where random phrases are jumbled up and rearranged into the final work which is implemented on ‘Idioteque’ and throughout Kid A, is stupid. It’s only associated with geniuses because geniuses like David Bowie, William S. Burroughs, David Byrne, and – yes – Thom Yorke, have used it. But the end result is maddening to parse through, especially for writers whose whole job is to talk about song meanings. I’ve successfully turned this preview into talking all about myself, but only because Thom Yorke left me no choice. Mission accomplished.
Form your own opinion on the cover down below. For what it’s worth, I’m sure Thom Yorke would love it.