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Single Review: Thom Yorke- Has Ended
‘Has Ended’ is a hypnotising song which gives little indication about the soundtrack or film it goes alongside, writes Music Editor Harry Hetherington
‘A darkness swirls at the centre of a world-renowned dance company’, begins the tagline for the remake of Dario Argento’s classic horror film Suspiria, which features Thom Yorke providing his debut soundtrack. His Radiohead bandmate Jonny Greenwood already has serious prowess in this field, creating the arresting scores for films like The Master and There Will Be Blood. ‘Has Ended’ emerges out of droning sitars, which become more pronounced as the track develops, alongside a simple drum pattern with its hollowed-out sound. The hazy effect this produces harks back to a psych- or krautrock sound, going against the normal brief for a supernatural horror soundtrack, not least the ‘bloody, sighing nightmare’ depicted in the upcoming remake.
“The hazy effect this produces harks back to a psych- or krautrock sound, going against the normal brief for a supernatural horror soundtrack
The song’s threat instead comes from Yorke’s childlike vocals and, most importantly, the colder bass guitar underscoring the whole of the song. The film’s trailer depicts 1977 Berlin, a suitably dark, grey-brown city in the midst of the ‘German Autumn’- industrialists and bankers are being killed amid a disturbed political landscape. Of ‘Has Ended’, Yorke has mentioned his enjoyment of being able to reference his favourite music from the era, and with the instruments of the era, but maintains that recording it in the present day gives it an inescapable contemporary context. He breathes the repeated line, ‘Saying we won’t make this mistake again’, as he sees ‘the mirrors and the phones / Caught flame, caught flame’.
The other released single from the score is the far more straightforward ‘Suspirium’, a moody piano-driven song, seemingly more befitting of the film. Though ‘Has Ended’ is a decent song in its own right, its merit becomes harder to judge as part of a wider, as-yet unheard soundtrack, which will be released in full on 26th October.
Has Ended is out now on XL Recordings Ltd.