Song of the Week – Friend of a Friend, The Smile

The Smile is a band consisting of Radiohead members Thom Yorke (vocals, guitar, bass, keys, songwriting) and Jonny Greenwood (guitar, bass, keys, songwriting), and Tom Skinner (drums, percussion, keys, songwriting), the drummer from the jazz group the Sons of Kemet.

The group formed in 2020 – another COVID-19 lockdown project – and has released one album (A Light for Attracting Attention), a couple of live EPs, and a few singles from their second album, Wall of Eyes, scheduled for release on January 26th.

One of those singles is “Friend of a Friend” which hit the “airwaves” on January 9th.

From our window balconies we take a tumble as our
Friends step out to talk and wave and catch a piece of sun

“Friend of a Friend” was inspired when Yorke saw videos of Italians singing to one another and/or playing music from their roofs and balconies during the COVID-19 quarantine.

The music on “Friend of a Friend” has a sound that will be more familiar to Radiohead fans than most of The Smile’s other recordings; especially the crescendos during the “From our window…” sections.  They remind me of the grand buildup of the “24 bar middle section” on the Beatles’ “A Day in the Life.”  Both used classical musicians – “Friend of a Friend” employing the London Symphony Orchestra.  Both also used the Abbey Road studios.

I like this song so much that I cannot wait to hear the whole album!

Enjoy… until next week.