P.T. Anderson is building quite a collection of paired down music videos: his video for Fiona Apple’s “Hot Knife” was a 3-part split screen of Apple and her sister singing (and Apple playing a drum), very simply but captivatingly echoing the structure of the song, and Joanna Newsom’s “Sapokanikan” video showed her simply walking through Greenwich Village, the New York neighborhood slathered atop what was formerly Lenape village known as Sapokanikan, in a song questioning what becomes memorialized and what becomes forgotten. His video for Radiohead’s “Daydreaming” featured a similar walk through the terrain of memory. These videos were all simple but conceptually driven in their minimalism; the video for Radiohead’s “Present Tense,” however, was pretty much just a recording of Radiohead performing the song, as is the just-shared video for “The Numbers,” which you can watch below.
It seems that for these last two songs, Anderson and Radiohead were simply going for intimacy and live rawness over concept, which makes sense given the somewhat more personal and emotional forward nature of A Moon Shaped Pool. As in “The Numbers” video, Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood perform with a Roland CR-78 drum machine, but here they’re in a pleasant mountain-adjacent setting in Tarzana, California. At the end of the video, there’s some major action, so hold onto your seats: the camera zooms in, Greenwood turns off the drum machine and flips his hair to look up at Thom Yorke, who then says, “probably.”
Watch the video: