TRACKING: Atoms For Peace - "Default"

SOUNDS LIKE: Four Tet, Burial, Radiohead
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: Over two years after taking his Eraser songs on tour, Thom Yorke's other band is readying their first LP

Thom Yorke is one to always surprise fans of his music.  In 2007, Radiohead announced their now classic In Rainbows only 10 days before it would be available to the world.  In 2011, the window was a mere week between the unveiling of The King Of Limbs and its availability to the world.  It would only be appropriate for Yorke to do the same with his solo career as well.

Throughout 2012 as Radiohead toured the world, there was talk of an album from Atoms For Peace, Yorke's live band that he took on the road to play out songs from 2006's solo venture, The Eraser, and preview then unreleased material.  The band, featuring unofficial sixth Radiohead member Nigel Godrich and (surprisingly) Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, eventually entered a studio to craft what would be not just Yorke's second album outside of Radiohead, but their first group outing. 

And late last week, characteristically out of nowhere, a new single just popped up on iTunes without announcement.  "Default" is what you'd expect from Yorke: blips and bloops careening and swirling around your brain, cascading from one ear to the other, wrapped around Yorke's trademark voice.  What's surprising, though, is what sounds like the absence of the other Atoms For Peace members.  Where is Flea's trademark funkier-than-though bassline? Is Mauro Refresco really there shaking maracas or a tambourine? It comes off as Yorke showing off all of his favorite electronic contemporaries, and giving us a song we'd expect from him.  Nevertheless it is good and exciting, but let's just hope the rest of the band gets a moment to shine when Atoms For Peace album is given to the world, probably without much notice, next year.