The Moon Shaped Pool cover had an unusual journey to fruition
Alexandra Pollard

15:16 19th May 2016

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Radiohead have given a rare insight into the recording process of their new album, A Moon Shaped Pool - and the strange way the artwork was created.

The band spoke to author and poet Adam Thorpe - who is a friend of Colin Greenwood - for the Times Literary Supplement (a slightly left-field choice), giving insight into the critically-acclaimed new record.

Thorpe also witnessed the creation of the album artwork by Stanley Donwood. Donwood was set up in a barn near to the recording studio, with speakers wired between the two buildings so the artist could hear the process. He then reacted "in acrylic" to what he heard, "the results to be modified and manipulated on computer for the LP's cover."

Read the Times Literary Supplement's full Radiohead profile here.

  • The Wall Street Journal: "It makes the experimental accessible while still challenging, through the breadth and depth of its expression, the definition of what constitutes popular music in 2016.”

  • Rolling Stone: "Radiohead's least rock-oriented album in the 21st century doubles as its most gorgeous and desolate album to date.”

  • The Sydney Morning Herald: "A Moon Shaped Pool, as with its eight predecessors, is not a bundle of laughs. It doesn't want you to throw open the windows and sing, or claim your place in the world because dammit you deserve it. This is not about self-help or coming to some understanding.”

  • The Telegraph: “A Moon Shaped Pool turns out to be Radiohead's most melodically accessible collection, almost meditative in its ethereal mid-tempo loveliness, yet shot through with the kind of edgy details that never quite let a listener relax. It is chill-out music to put your nerves on edge.”

  • Gigwise: "For a band who have already come to both defy and define genre at every turn, having torn up the map of where music should lead them, Radiohead now take a turn down a previously untrodden, sumptuous garden path.”

  • The New York Times: "The future is dire, the past a blur and the present heartbroken yet hinting at possibilities on Radiohead’s “A Moon Shaped Pool,” its ninth studio album and perhaps its darkest statement — though the one with the band’s most pastoral surface.”

  • The Guardian: "You’d hesitate to call it more poppy – this is still an album on which standard verse-chorus structures are very much subject to subsidence, and on which the instruments buried deep in the mix frequently seem to be playing an entirely different song to those in the foreground – but it’s certainly sharper and more focused.”

  • Pitchfork: "So what is new on A Moon Shaped Pool, Radiohead’s first studio album since 2011’s The King of Limbs? Very little, which to me is what immediately makes it so great.”

  • NME: “[The album] features a beautiful combo of strings, piano, electronic experiments, Jonny Greenwood's spidery guitar lines and Yorke's exquisite-as-ever lyrics."

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Photo: Artwork