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Radiohead Deletes Facebook, Twitter Accounts Before Releasing New Single 'Burn the Witch'

By Philip Trapp on May 05, 2016 11:18 AM EDT

Radiohead perplexed music fans last weekend, gradually erasing their Internet presence by deleting all content on their website and social media outlets like their Facebook and Twitter pages.

The online expungement was executed in advance of the band's first new music in nearly five years. On Tuesday, they released new single and video "Burn the Witch." Preceding the song's premiere, the group posted teasers of the clip to Instagram:

A video posted by Radiohead (@radiohead) on May 2, 2016 at 10:01pm PDT

The quintet's website and various digital channels are now back in full swing, promoting the song. Their highly-anticipated ninth album is expected this year.

As we previously reported, Radiohead recently set up new limited partnerships to handle their independent releases. The business move perked the ears of perceptive fans aware of the band's similar maneuvers just prior to releasing new projects.

A fiercely autonomous group since their abandonment of the major label industry over ten years ago, singer Thom Yorke spoke to Pitchfork about their awareness of the major music market and its current creative and commercial collapse:

"We've always been able to observe it from the sidelines, really. Luckily, we didn't get sucked into it, but I think, generally speaking, a lot of the majors are running scared. Well, actually, they pretend they're running scared but really, they're just preparing to sell off and give it up. So I would imagine it's not a great environment [in the majors] at the moment."

Known for their creative music marketing ideas, Radiohead pioneered the "surprise internet release" in 2007 with their pay-what-you-want album, In Rainbows. However, Yorke remains dubious of technology corporations displacing record companies, even comparing panoptic conglomerates like Google to Nazi Germany:

"[T]hey're making money with the work of loads of artists who don't get any benefit from it. [...] The creators of services make money -- Google, YouTube. A huge amount of money, by trawling, like in the sea -- they take everything there is. 'Oh, sorry, was that yours? Now it's ours. No, no, we're joking -- it's still yours.' They've seized control of it -- it's like what the Nazis did during the second world war."

Below, watch the just-released video for "Burn the Witch." Let us know what you think of the new song in the comments section below -- we'd love to hear from you.

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TagsRadiohead, Burn the Witch, Thom Yorke, Google