Beck To Release New Album... Sort Of
HEY EVERYONE! Beck is releasing a new album. That is totally awesome and ear-thirst quenching news, right? Well, not quite. Beck has announced the release of his new album, Song Reader
, as a collection of 20 never-before-released songs – in sheet music.
Yeah, all you musos out there might be rejoicing at the opportunity to get your hands on the nuts-and-bolts of Beck’s genius, but for the vast majority of us hacks who can’t read music, this is not what we've been waiting five years for. And as far as we can tell, there’s no indication that Beck will be releasing studio versions of the music - in fact, he has apparently admitted he's 'tired of recording music', preferring to spend time in production roles, and penning songs for others. Any upcoming audio-release of Song Reader
will instead feature a selection of interpretations from fans and select musicians. This is totally your chance, guys!
In a further blow to any dwindling hopes for an album written and performed by Beck himself, Song Reader
won’t even be distributed by a music label. Instead the material will be released by the San Francisco-based literary website McSweeney’s. This is where the good news begins. Song Reader
will come in a hardcover carry-case and is filled with gorgeous songbook era-inspired artwork from Marcel Dzama, amongst others. The introduction will come from writer Jody Rosen, with a foreword by Beck himself.
Once we recovered from our initial disappointment - and self-flagellation for never paying attention during music class - we realised that this is actually brilliant. Just think of the myriad of covers spawned by Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know
. YouTube is going to become a swamp of Beck interpretations from an army of 1990s alt-rock fans. And given the level of nostalgia for all things ‘90s and alternative at the moment, that’s probably anyone who has ever so much as looked at a guitar.
Catch Beck when he plays the Harvest Festival later this year.
: Lauren Bertacchini