Thom Yorke Traffics in Dreams With “Last I Heard (…He Was Circling the Drain)” Music Video
With the visuals for his recent album Anima, Thom Yorke has weaved together an immersive, dreamlike experience, inspired equally by the album’s themes (disaffection, dystopia, machine logic) and by the jittery electronics of its production. The accompanying Anima “one-reeler,” released on Netflix back in June, was a stunner. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson with choreography from Damien Jalet, it offered hope for connection in the face of colorless, urban uniformity.
Yorke’s newest video, for “Last I Heard (…He Was Circling the Drain),” comes courtesy of the creative studio Art Camp, and deftly blends thousands of hand-drawn images into 3-D animation. In its cities, its faceless crowds, and its watery abstractions, it feels reminiscent of Shaun Tan, or of the dream sequences in Terry Gilliam’s Brazil.
“Our first and last goal was to serve the feelings of the song and the record. Thom shared a list of visions with us, disconnected images from his dreams, and we expanded on it with visions from everyone who joined the video team, over a dozen of us,” said the studio in a statement. “At its core, our intention was to communicate the experience of feeling completely on your own, surrounded by people you see yourself in but don’t understand, who have lost their minds to the city and can’t see that you need their help.”
Since the release of Anima this past summer, Yorke has released a remix EP called Not The News, written a song for Edward Norton’s adaptation of Motherless Brooklyn, put out a zine with Crack magazine, and stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live for a performance of three solo tracks.