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This Theory About Radiohead's New Album Will Seriously Mess You Up

Could this be the band's farewell?

On Sunday, May 8th, the British band Radiohead released its first studio album in five years.


A Moon Shaped Pool sent the music world into overdrive. Both critics and fans loved the proposal of the Oxford five-piece: an ethereal album with string arrangements and electronic elements full of surprises each time you listen to it.

The album was launched after the band announced a world tour and "disappeared" from social media.


The first two tracks of the album, "Burn the Witch" and "Daydreaming" were released early, each with a video.

The last track of the album was a surprise for the fans.

Troy Augusto / Getty Images

The band decided to include an oldie as track 11. "True Love Waits" was first played in Brussels in 1995 and became a constant feature during their live shows. However, it was never recorded in the studio... until now.

The original version included an acoustic guitar which was replaced by synthesizers and spacious atmospheres, adjusting the song to the context of Radiohead's ninth album.

The fans immediately began coming up with theories about the album.


It is a well-known fact that Radiohead includes cryptic messages on their website, hidden booklets in some editions of their albums and complex metaphors in their lyrics, so the conspiranoia became hot, especially on Reddit.

However, one theory about the video for "Daydreaming" has triggered a huge discussion between the band's enthusiasts.

View this video on YouTube

The video, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia, The Master), a friend of the band and collaborator on several projects with Jonny Greenwood, shows Thom Yorke opening and closing doors against different, seemingly unconnected backgrounds.

However, those familiar with the work of Radiohead and P. T. Anderson are well aware that there are no coincidences.

The user harvestLuca started a thread called "Radiohead's secret in 'Daydreaming' music video" showing some parallels between the images shown and the history of the the band's music video.

There he says that "Radiohead is walking through its past".

Thom walks through a supermarket, like in the "Fake Plastic Trees" music video.

Then he goes up a snowy mountain, like on the cover of Kid A.

There, the snowy basin may be a reference to the "Motion Picture Soundtrack" music video.

The parking lot scene is reminiscent of a well-known photo shoot session from the Ok Computer era.

Other users found even more ~references~.


Like the fungui in this kitchen, which could be a reference to the script on the "Karma Police" single.


Indeed, Jonny Greenwood posted this discussion on his Facebook page.

This could be interpreted as a song from Radiohead to its fans and not a song about a break-up, like some lyrics analysis sites suggest.

Thom Yorke ended a 23-year relationship during the process of creating A Moon Shaped Pool.

In the discussion, the fans analyze the lyrics on the video to find answers.

"This goes beyond me, beyond you



Happy to serve

Happy to serve... you."

What some see as a tribute, other see as a cryptic message. This might be Radiohead's last album.

Mark Metcalfe / Getty Images

The album has sound references to all of the band's discography and its "roundness" suggests that Radiohead is somehow closing a circle.

RumblePhish / Via

The special edition of the album has a piece of tape from the original masters from Radiohead's albums.

The user 7screws noticed this and suggests:

All of this nostalgia, this looking back, basically a montage of their career, then they cut up their masters and send them to their fans (...) this all seems like its their way of saying goodbye.

Especially since they included one of their oldest, saddest, most representative songs at the end of the album.

View this video on YouTube

Oh, and finally: the first word in the album is "Stay", the last one is "Leave".



  1. What do you think?

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What do you think?
    vote votes
    It's real. They couldn't have found a better way to say goodbye.
    vote votes
    Radiohead are the ultimate trolls and they're always doing this kind of thing.
    vote votes
    Radiohead fans have a lot of free time. These are baseless theories.
    vote votes
    This is VERY far-fetched and besides... who cares?