Radiohead drummer Philip Selway steps out from behind the kit on his third solo album, Strange Dance, which will arrive Feb. 24 on Bella Union. The project includes collaborations with Portishead guitarist Adrian Utley, revered British artist/producer Hannah Peel, cellist Laura Moody and drummer Valentina Magaletti.
The first track to see the light of day from the album is the Selway-sung, piano- and strings-led “Check for Signs of Life,” the hushed vibe of which doesn’t fall that far from the Radiohead family tree.
“The scale of it was very deliberate for me, from the outset,” Selway says of the new album. “I wanted the soundscape to be broad and tall but somehow get it to wrap around this intimate vocal at the heart of it.” Utley guests on “Picking Up Pieces,” while the London Contemporary Orchestra, the Assemble Choir, and the Elysian Collective lend a hand on “What Keeps You Awake At Night.”
“One of the things I’ve liked about this record is [that] it’s me as a 55-year-old not trying to hide that fact,” Selway offers. “It feels kind of unguarded, rather than seeing that aging process as something that needs to be hidden. I wanted it to have that space so if you’re listening to it you can lose yourself in it — almost like a refuge.”
Strange Dance is Selway’s first solo release since 2014’s Weatherhouse. Radiohead, meanwhile, has been quiet since 2016’s A Moon Shaped Pool, and hasn’t performed live since Aug. 1, 2018. Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood’s new project, the Smile, is touring North American this fall in support of its critically adored 2022 debut, A Light for Attracting Attention.