So when will that new Beck album be out?
You know, the one he began making before Morning Phase that was originally slated for late 2014, then 2015? The one that three tracks from have streamed online and been used in commercial: “Dreams,” “Wow” and “Up All Night” (click links for more details and streams of each). The album that last May his PR firm announced would be released October 21, 2016, that was then reported by The New York Times to be delayed to November, then announced by Morning Becomes Eclectic’s Jason Bentley to be coming early 2017?
It’s anybody’s guess when it will actually arrive, but several rumors have it slated for this summer, a time frame validated by an interview with Beck’s longtime keyboard Roger Joseph Manning published March 7th by Weirdo Music Forever:
“Beck will be touring in July and his new album will be coming out this summer most likely. There will probably be five solid months touring with him between 2017 and 2018, which I love. Jason [Falkner, Beck’s longtime guitarist as well as Roger’s bandmate in Jellyfish] and I will be involved in that, which will be great.”
This time frame of the album’s release is also substantiated by two separate interviews in the three months prior with Beck himself and the album’s co-producer Greg Kurstin. When asked on December 11th by Ted Stryker at KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas, Beck said it’s “forthcoming, yeah, very soon. Just finished that up actually.” That response was a tad surprising for fans awaiting the album that had speculatively believed the album was finished the summer past (as comments Beck had made earlier seemed to indicate, as did both Q magazine and The New York Times reporting circa September they had heard at least several tracks, if not a full, finished album – as previously discussed in this preview of the album).
Equally un-reassuring, when asked how many tracks are on the allegedly now finished album Beck tentatively replies “uh… I think twelve-ish. That’s a good round dozen.” Watch KROQ’s full interview here, or just the portion pertaining to the new album below:
More assuring, in February 2017 – the morning after winning four Grammys for his work with Adele including his third ‘Producer of the Year’ honor – the status of Beck’s album was updated by its co-producer Greg Kurstin in an interview with Zane Lowe as being in “the final stages of the mixing, last touches and everything…”
An article for The New York Times Style Magazine published March 1st claims the album is “scheduled to come out this spring.” More revealing is the piece’s description of the album. Wyatt Mason writes:
“The 10 songs I heard from the new record don’t sound like anything Beck has done before. They have a huge, dance floor-ready exuberance and a whole new sonic range, with, he says, songs that are ‘simple and uplifting and galvanizing, where the spirit moves you, that kind of feeling. Those are the hardest. This new record I focused on that feeling. It’s the easiest to fail at. Or to come off on one hand disingenuous, or on the other hand just trite, or, you know, there’s that fine line between platitude and just the truth. And that fine line between making a big commotion and a bunch of movement and just actual unadulterated joy.’”
“I remember having this strong feeling that I wanted to work with him. Ten years before wouldn’t have been the right time. This was the right time. And as I was walking in there, my manager asked me, ‘So what do you want to do? Do you have any songs?’ I was like, ‘I have nothing. Clean slate. All I know is I want to do something that’s really happy.’ I literally walk in, ‘Hey, how are you,’ and we sit down. Pharrell says, ‘I just finished mixing this song, you gotta hear this.’ And he put on ‘Happy.’ It was one of those moments where you laugh to yourself and think, ‘O.K., so maybe we’ll do something else because I think you kinda nailed this one.’”
As for why Beck’s forthcoming album has been repeatedly delayed, it’s apparently nothing more than a busy schedule and Beck being meticulous. “This record was supposed to come out over the last year,” Beck says in the KROQ interview streaming in the first video above, “and then I’ve been touring and doing a million other things.”
Besides his own new album Beck is also expected to appear in upcoming releases by Charlotte Gainsbourg and Q-Tip, and covers “Can’t Help Falling in Love” (streaming here) on Resistance Radio (an album by Sam Cohen and Danger Mouse out April 7th that also features MGMT’s Andrew VanWyngarden, Grandaddy, The Shins, Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O and more in promotion of Amazon series The Man in the High Castle.