Watch Thom Yorke Helm The Smile’s Intimate ‘Tiny Desk Concert’

The three-song set featured Robert Stillman on saxophone.

By Andy Kahn Jan 3, 2023 11:33 am PST

The Smile, featuring Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood along with Sons of Kemet drummer Tom Skinner, performed an intimate Tiny Desk Concert for NPR. The group expanded to a quartet for the session with Robert Stillman joining them on saxophone.

Recorded in Washington D.C. at Bob Boilen’s desk, according to Boilen, The Smile prepared for the session with a 90-minute rehearsal, eventually settling on four songs to play from their 2022 debut album, A Light For Attracting Attention. One of the songs they recorded was ultimately scrapped after the group decided it should be cut from the final release.

For the first song, which was “Pana-vision,” Yorke played piano and Greenwood was on bass, creating a mood Boilen described as “simultaneously mysterious and welcoming.” The unnamed shelved song was recorded next, followed by Yorke moving to bass and Greenwood guitar for “The Smoke.” The finale was “Skrting On the Surface,” which Stillman sat out and saw Yorke playing a different bass and Greenwood still on guitar.

Watch The Smile, with guest saxophonist Robert Stillman performing a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR below:

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