Radiohead is now notorious for innovative distribution after their "pay what you want" initial sale of their last LP, In Rainbows, breaking from the traditional label system. In many ways, they are leading the fight against major music labels. All this adds up to some interesting speculation on the leak of a new Radiohead song, entitled "These Are My Twisted Words."
Last night, the song leaked on a torrent site and was quickly picked up by Radiohead fan forum ateaseweb. While it's not 100% confirmed to be Radiohead, there seems to be a consensus that the musical style is undeniably theirs. Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory, so the discussion quickly turned to suggest that Radiohead themselves had leaked the track. Much of that speculation lends itself to the included nfo file (reproduced here) that includes elaborate ASCII art, which displays the song title and the text "Wall of Ice," along with a Thom Yorke-esque poem. The seemingly anti-music label poem reads:
"i just wanted to reassure readers
that following representations
that before your very eyes
behind the wall of ice
that the box is not under threat
however they are set to remove
in fact i have the list in front of me
i went to a briefing on their plans
and challenged them to tell me
exactly what the cost would be
they spoke in broad terms"
To cap it all off, the file contains a release date of 8/17/2009 (Monday). Combining this with the news coming yesterday that Radiohead won't be releasing any more full length albums, but rather focusing on singles and EP's, fans are expecting the "Wall of Ice EP" to drop on Monday.
I wouldn't put it past Radiohead to intentionally leak their own song in this fashion to generate buzz about an upcoming EP. They've been at the forefront of innovative distribution methods and have proven to be internet savvy in the past. If successful, this release would be another smack in the face to the record labels and a step towards more direct distribution from bands to music fans. Whether or not this conspiracy theory ends up being true, all eyes will be on Radiohead Monday for another sudden release like they had with In Rainbows.
The jury is still out on whether Thom Yorke is geeky enough to read xkcd and name their EP after this anti-RIAA comic (also seen below), but we can hope.