Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien has given fans an update on his next solo album in a message that also calls for a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas.
In an Instagram post, O’Brien thanked his “little community” of fans and explained that he had needed a break. “I’m deep into my next record, and deep in the process,” he wrote. “I will share some more soon … from music to influences to gear .. all of it… it’s been and continues to be a journey..Sending love and warmth from me and Ziggy.”
Earlier in the message, O’Brien apologized for not commenting on the heightened Gaza conflict earlier. “Like so many of you I have found the events of October 7 and what has followed too awful for words .. anything that I have tried to write feels so utterly inadequate,” he said. “Ceasefire now. Return the hostages.”
O’Brien’s last solo album was his 2020 debut effort, Earth, featuring Radiohead bassist Colin Greenwood, Laura Marling, and Portishead’s Adrian Utley.
It’s worth noting that Radiohead received backlash from Palestinian activists in 2017 for their concert in Tel Aviv, Israel. At the time, Thom Yorke said criticism from the band’s contemporaries — including Roger Waters, Thurston Moore, and TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe — was “extremely upsetting” and said he didn’t “agree with the cultural ban at all.”
On October 7th, 2023, Hamas carried out a surprise attack at an Israeli music festival, killing an estimated 1,200 Israeli civilians in the process. A reported 21,800 Palestinians have been killed since Israel declared war and began bombarding the Gaza Strip. On Monday (January 1st), the Israeli military confirmed it was pulling thousands of troops out of Gaza, indicating it could be preparing for a long-term “low-intensity” offensive.
In other Radiohead-related news, Yorke and Jonny Greenwood’s offshoot The Smile are returning with a new album titled Wall of Eyes later this month. Get tickets to the supporting tour of the UK and Europe here.