Last week, the Internet lost its collective mind when "These Are My Twisted Words" — five and half minutes of spirally guitars and doomy vibes that was rumored to be a brand-new [artist id="1123"]Radiohead[/artist] song — hit the Net.
First appearing on torrent site What.cd, then going massive on the message board of Radiohead fan site AtEaseWeb.net, "Twisted Words" quickly became the subject of much scrutiny from the bulk of the music-obsessed world, with mega-passionate R'head fans pointing to the MP3's file name ("01-radiohead-these_are_my_twisted_words-(advance)-2009-woi.mp3") and accompanied ASCII text file (which, written in ampersands, featured the words "Wall of Ice" and the date "2009-08-17") as proof that the song was leaked by the band to promote a new album called Wall of Ice — after a popular anti-RIAA cartoon — and that it would be released on Monday, August 17.
And given recent interviews with Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke in The Believer and guitarist Jonny Greenwood in The Australian, which hinted that the band is finished releasing traditional long-play albums — fans speculated that Wall of Ice was going to be an EP, released in much the same way their In Rainbows album was in late 2007.
The media did their part to hype the supposed release too. Many reported that WallOfIce.com took visitors directly to Radiohead's online store. Others (OK, us) speculated that "Words" was actually the long-rumored song Yorke wrote for the "New Moon" soundtrack, even analyzing the lyrics to back this hypothesis.
And as for Radiohead? Well, they didn't say anything. Until Monday, that is, when they officially made "Words" available for free download on their official site.
In a statement posted along with links to the MP3, Greenwood shot down the rumors that the song was part of some elaborate EP scheme, saying that the band had the completed version of the song that had been lying around for a while, and they decided to release it, since they'll be playing it on a brief UK/European tour later this month.
"So here's a new song, called 'These Are My Twisted Words.' We've been recording for a while, and this was one of the first we finished. We're pretty proud of it," Greenwood wrote. "There's other stuff in various states of completion, but this is one we've been practicing, and which we'll probably play at this summer's concerts. Hope you like it."
The "Twisted Words" download comes with a PDF artwork file (lots of tendril-like tree branches) made by Yorke and longtime Radiohead collaborator Stanley Donwood. It also includes instructions from the band: "We suggest you print these images out on tracing paper ... use at least 80 gsm tracing paper or your printer will eat it, as we discovered. You could put them in an order that pleases you."
But is "Words" a one-time deal? Will Radiohead continue to release MP3s through their site? Or perhaps maybe an EP? Well, it turns out that your guess is as good as ours. When reached for comment, a spokesperson for Radiohead told MTV News that he "can't comment on that, as no one really knows as yet."