Ed O’Brien eyes September release for debut solo album, plans to tour

Radiohead guitarist offers an update on the long-awaited LP during an appearance on The Pedal Show

Ed O'Brien of Radiohead
Ed O’Brien of Radiohead

Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien has been teasing a solo album for the best part of a year now. During a recent appear on The Pedal Show, O’Brien revealed that he’s hoping to release the as-yet-untitled LP in September.

O’Brien also offered a few behind-the-scenes details about the upcoming release. He made the record at the encouragement of Flood (U2, Depeche Mode, PJ Harvey), who offered to produce it after hearing some of his early demos. Along with Flood, O’Brien worked with producer Catherine Marks and a studio backing band consisting of Omar Hakim (who drummed on David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance”), The Invisible’s guitarist Dave Okumu, and bassist Nathan East. There are also a number of unspecified guests. O’Brien himself sings, play acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and bass.

Up until recently, O’Brien said he had no interest in making a solo record. “Six, seven years ago, I’m like, ‘I’m in Radiohead, I’ve got a young family. This is great!'” He added that he “felt guilty” about the prospect of making music outside of the band. “I’m living the dream — this is what every 16-year-old boy who plays guitar dreams of. I’m really happy with life.”

“Then suddenly I’m like, the songs. And the truth is, I wanted to write songs,” he explained.

Asked how the music compares to his work in Radiohead, O’Brien said, “You’ll make a little connection. There will be textures. There’s quite a lot of depth it. It’s a little bit magical realist, slightly psychedelic, a lot of color.” He was primarily inspired by his time living in Brazil and going to Carnival.

O’Brien is currently looking for a label to release the album. He intends to tour behind the record and is putting together a band with a “funk and jazz focus.”

O’Brien’s full interview with The Pedal Show spans over an hour in length and covers a great number of topics, including his early days playing guitar, his go-to gear, and the sonic evolution of Radiohead. Watch the full video below.