COLOUR: Orange EXTRAS: Limited Indies Edition
It sounds counterintuitive to say Thom Yorke delivers uneasy music with a sense of ease, yet ANIMA unfurls with a slow, steady confidence that can be called comfortable. Perhaps this relaxed gait is due to how ANIMA finds Yorke treading familiar territory, revisiting the kind of jittery, chilly electronica that has been his solo specialty ever since he snuck out The Eraser in 2006.
During the 13 years that separate The Eraser and ANIMA, indie and electronic music underwent several changes, but Yorke and his longtime producer Nigel Godrich aren't especially interested in chasing trends. They're working with a similar tool box that they did in a previous decade, running loops, distorting acoustic instruments, operating faders, and leaning into glitches and skittish rhythms. All these sounds mean ANIMA sounds superficially similar to its predecessors (The Eraser, plus 2014's Tomorrow's Modern Boxes), but Yorke and Godrich are craftsman, offering a different perspective on a familiar subject.
That subject is, naturally, a distrust of the modern world and a fear of a creeping dystopia, a paranoia that suits the troubled times of 2019.