Thom Yorke | Susperia

 In CD Reviews

7/10 Soundtrack scares

A listening party was thrown back in December for Thom Yorke’s debut film soundtrack, Susperia, beneath Clerkenwell Prison – a candlelit dungeon with projections dancing across the walls. No one had yet seen Luca Guadagnino’s remake of Dario Argento’s horror classic, and it mattered little. Who better to score an unseen supernatural flick than the eerie Radiohead frontman, whose songwriting domain is jittery threats, vague nightmares and a creeping sense of dread?

Yorke’s trademark paranoia finds new dimensions on this impressive soundtrack album. How his distinctive melancholia will blend in on screen remains to be seen (read: I haven’t seen it yet) but as a standalone album, Susperia works marvels.

Skeletal lullabies weave around mangled synth fantasias, ancient sounding chants and fingerpicked daydreams. The handful of sung compositions rank alongside “Harrowdown Hill” and “The Eraser” as his finest solo work.

“The Hooks” decorates a cursed piano motif with strings concealing horrors: muffled groans, scurrying feet, the swoop and squelch of a blade puncturing flesh. Spooked hymns such as “Has Ended” conjure the ghosts of lost Radiohead B-Sides, while the electronic skits evoke lo-fi artists like James Blake.

A demanding listen, it’s no walk in the park, but then it never is with Thom Yorke at the controls.

Dan Ashcroft

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