Thom Yorke debuted a pair of new tracks, “Silent Spring” and “Desert Island Disk,” at the Pathway to Paris concert Friday that coincided with the climate conferences in the French capital. The tracks are the first new songs from the Radiohead singer since his 2014 solo LP Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes as well as a potential preview of what Radiohead have in store for the follow-up to 2011’s The King of Limbs.
“People have this power / The numbers don’t decide / Your system is a lie / A river running dry / The wings of a butterfly,” Yorke sings on “Silent Spring,” a rallying cry reminiscent of Radiohead’s “You and Whose Army?” and “Dollars and Cents.” “We’ll take back what is ours / One day at a time.” At one point during the performance, Yorke hesitated and noted “This is Jonny’s bit,” a nod to Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood and a hint that “Silent Spring” is a song destined for the group’s next album.
A set list taped to the stage during Yorke’s performance confirmed the title of the two new songs (via AtEase). In addition to the two new songs, Yorke also performed a reworked version of “The Present Tense,” a still-unreleased track that first emerged during a Radiohead sound check in 2008 but has since made rare appearances at both Atoms for Peace and Yorke solo shows. The fact that Yorke is toying with the song, even after it was left off Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, also suggests that Radiohead may have revisited the track for their upcoming album.
The rest of Yorke’s set featured a pair of tracks off his 2006 solo album The Eraser (“Atoms for Peace” with Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist and Atoms for Peace band mate Flea, “The Clock”), “Default” off Atoms for Peace’s Amok (also with Flea) and a solo piano rendition of The King of Limbs‘ opener “Bloom.” To conclude the first Pathway to Paris concert, Yorke and Flea joined Patti Smith and the rest of the event’s artists onstage to perform her “People Have the Power.”
Yorke, Flea and Smith will again take the stage at Paris’ Le Trianon Saturday night for the second Pathway to Paris gig.