Jon Hopkins has shared a beautiful piano cover of Thom Yorke’s “Dawn Chorus”. The song originally appeared on the Radiohead frontman’s 2019 solo album Anima, but the English electronic producer has reimagined it here through his own unique and sentimental lens.
Even without Yorke’s inimitable vocals, this instrumental rendition turns the ambient-like track into something even more meditative and searching. According to a press release, Hopkins recorded the tune in one take on a piano he’s had since he was a child, which only bolsters the intimacy of the music. He elaborated further on the “very cathartic experience”, saying:
“I felt such bliss the first time I heard this piece — it seemed so mysterious and hypnotic, oblique but warm. I thought there was so much beauty in that chord sequence that there was room to explore it on the piano and see what grew from it. One day in early April when everything was particularly quiet and surreal outside, I went into my studio for the first time in weeks and ended up recording the whole thing in one take. I left it very raw and upfront, with just some sub bass and vocal drones in the background.”
Take a listen below and let yourself get lost in the flickering visualizer. Then revisit Yorke’s original version.
A longtime admirer of Yorke’s work, Hopkins has repeatedly expressed his desire to one day hit the studio with the Radiohead rocker. “It’s a predictable one [choice] but I’d love to collaborate with Thom Yorke on some level,” Hopkins told the Irish Times in 2018. “I keep saying this in interviews. I hope if I say it enough times I might be able to at least get a track to him. He has such an amazing melodic sensibility and his voice is so beautiful. I can sometimes envisage Thom singing lyrics to my music.”
Back in pre-pandemic February, Hopkins released a new song called “Scene Suspended”, and in May he dropped a 20-minute composition called “Singing Bowl (Ascension)”. As for Yorke, last week he teamed up with two other prominent producers, Burial and Four Tet, for a two-song collaborative single.