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The Smile Entertain Grade School Kids In ‘Friend Of A Friend’ Video

Clip was directed by longtime collaborator and 11-time Oscar nominee Paul Thomas Anderson
Thom Yorke (photo: Dannah Gottlieb)

As tipped here last week, the Smile have released the Paul Thomas Anderson-directed video for their new song “Friend of a Friend,” which finds the Radiohead-adjacent trio performing it in a small auditorium filled with an audience of elementary school students.

As demonstrated by the reactions of these kids, one of whom is drummer Tom Skinner’s son, perhaps the Smile’s music may be a bit too heady for pre-teens. Indeed, their responses range from complete indifference to feigning slumber to bemused bewilderment to outright hostility from a young blonde boy, who stands up and boos at song’s end.

“Friend of a Friend” is drawn from the Smile’s sophomore release, Wall of Eyes, which is out tomorrow (Jan. 26) through XL. The group recorded several other songs during those sessions, and debuted one called “Tiptoe” at album and video playbacks in worldwide theaters over the past week. It’s unknown when or if it will see official release.

The “Friend of a Friend” video extends Anderson’s long collaboration with Radiohead and its members, which has in the past included directing Thom Yorke‘s Anima and Radiohead’s “Daydreaming.” Guitarist Jonny Greenwood has also worked frequently with the director, having scored Anderson films such as There Will Be Blood, The Master and Phantom Thread.

The Smile have extensive European touring on tap this spring and summer, beginning March 7 in Dublin and wrapping in late August at Lisbon’s Meo Kalorama festival. No North American shows have yet been announced.

In related news, Yorke has composed the soundtrack for the new Daniele Luchetti film Trust, which premiering as part of the in-progress Rotterdam International Film Festival. According to Variety, the score “comprises music for classical orchestral strings and for a jazz orchestra, as well as a substantial electronic music component.” Yorke previously scored Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria remake.