What started as wanting to have an “adventure” with his family, turned into a musical journey of discovery and innovation. Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien packed up his family and moved to Brazil for a year. It was during this time that the Radiohead guitarist was inspired to create something of his own. Following the footsteps of his bandmates, the guitarist has announced that he will be releasing his debut album as a solo artist in the coming year.
Working alongside him are producers Flood and Catherine Marks. In addition, a former Bowie collaborator Omar Hakim and ex-Michael Jackson songwriter, Nathan East, are joining O’Brien on this endeavor.
In an interview with Esquire, O’Brien said, “We’ve tracked some stuff and we have some backing tracks and I’m going back into the studio with Flood and Catherine to finish those tracks up and will start some new stuff in the new year.”
During his time in Brazil, O’Brien took his inspiration from the soul of the country as well as its flow. While spending his days in the Brazilian countryside, the guitarist wasn’t finding the spark he needed to kickstart his writing. That all changed when a friend took him to see the carnival, and it was here that O’Brien discovered the polyrhythms and “dark heart” of Brazilian music he needed to get inspired.
“It started when we were living in Brazil. It’s not overtly Brazilian but there are definite themes. Without getting into it too much, going to Carnival in Rio was very inspiring. Rhythm and groove were a big part of it. I’m really enjoying it. It feels really right at the moment,” he explains.
O’Brien hopes to complete the album by mid-2018 and then to shop for a label to get it released to the public by late 2018 or early 2019. Radiohead has plans to release a songbook with lyrics and chords from across the band’s illustrious career. The book, Radiohead: Complete, is 400 pages and 160 different tracks and is currently available for pre-order.