Thom Yorke unquestionably had a tough act to follow when he was asked to make the soundtrack to Luca Guadagnino’s remake of the classic 1977 Italian Horror film “Suspiria”, the original soundtrack by Italian prog-rock band Goblin is widely considered one of the greatest film soundtracks of all time. Yet, on Suspirium, Yorke appears to have hit it out of the park.
Yorke croons over a repeating piano score which would feel very much at home on Radiohead’s previous album A Moon Shaped Pool which included the now famously rejected soundtrack for the James Bond Movie Spectre. In 'Suspirium' Yorke makes a direct reference to Suspiria’s dance school setting singing “all is well as long as we keep spinning”, which could also be an allusion to a feeling of being trapped and trying to keep going. 'Suspirium' has very little in the way of production, Yorke’s ethereal vocals are accompanied by a lone flute to light a glimmer of hope under the lingering piano chords which darken as a reminder of 'Suspirium’s' haunting theme. In contrast 'Has Ended' harkens back to Yorke’s solo work on Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes with spectral synth sounds accompanied by distorted vocals and a muddy sounding bass riff.
Both 'Suspirium' and 'Has Ended' confirm what music lovers have known for over 20 years, Thom Yorke can write a creepy song and make it downright beautiful and while I may be a little biased (having just recently written an article on how brilliant I think Kid A is), Yorke has certainly showed his ability to make a track fit for tinsel town.
Suspiria releases on pink vinyl on October 26th.