As part of a wider project to bring together some of contemporary music’s biggest names, Sonos launched a digital radio service with original programming. While this concept is not particularly new, Sonos decided to turn to current artists to help curate a series of shows. While the likes of Phoebe Bridgers, David Byrne, Jack White’s Third Man Records, Jamila Woods, Soccer Mommy and more were featured, it was Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke’s contribution that really caught the eye.
Sonos Radio attempted to change the direction of the format, offering a fresh take with artists that could relate to a new audience. The project boasts over 100 streaming options available, bringing together more than 60,000 stations from multiple partners alongside original programming.
“Sonos has always made it easy for customers to discover the riches of streaming music services by building premium products that sound great and by giving customers the freedom to use the services of their choice,” said Sonos CEO Patrick Spence.
Spence added: “Sonos Radio brings together streaming radio services and a select set of curated radio stations in a simple, elegant way. This is just a beginning as we work to deliver services that provide our customers a better experience, and provide our music streaming service partners an opportunity to highlight their best content.”
Yorke, as many could have predicted, took his effort in a slightly different direction. The singer pushed his show to its limits, curating a vast 24-hour station which ran under the title of ‘In the Absence Thereof’.
As part of his project, Yorke said he would feature an “ever-rolling compilation” with material “that fascinates or moves me, what obsesses me, challenges me, opens new doors, reminds me of what I might have forgotten, is insanely complex or elegantly simple, violent, messy, heavy or light”.
Yorke added of the show: “Whatever has hit me over the head, basically. It may be new or old or just dug up again”. Given that the show arrived at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, with millions of people forced to stay home amid strict social distancing measures, Yorke said: “With all this time we have behind doors, I hope this provides a welcome connection and escape .. and perhaps stops the walls closing in quite so quick”.
Below, find a selection of the 20 songs that hit Thom Yorke over the head. Expect to see the likes of Kim Gordon, Frank Sinatra, Jan Jelinek, Gilla Band, Ursula Bogner and more.
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