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November 2020
Fact File

What we know about Beck and his poptastic new album

As October rolls closer, here's what we know about one of the most anticipated records of the year.
Published: 2:13 pm, July 26, 2016
What we know about Beck and his poptastic new album
Oh Beck, it’s been a while. One of the great chameleons of modern music, while we don’t want to do the whole genius thing, if there was a person who definitely deserves that title, then well… he’s the guy.

2014’s ‘Morning Phase’ was a delightful return, but while it scooped awards left, right and centre - there was a sense of something bigger on the horizon, something many had been waiting for.

Yeah that’s right. A Beck pop album.

For a man who can turn his hand to any style, the thought of Beck returning to his mainstream bothering antics is one of the most exciting moves in modern music. With the record still months away, here’s a step-by-step guide of what we know so far…

Dreams’ and ‘WOW’ are indisputable bangers - but in completely different ways

So far, we’ve only had a couple of choice cuts to choose from when it comes to new music from Beck, coming in the very different shapes of ‘Dreams’ and ‘WOW’. One may be a slow-burning siren call, the other a tectonic riff spectacle but both are pop royalty. Never one to do things by halves, they’re packed full of the mad-cap genius which runs throughout Beck’s back catalogue, yet now there’s an added level of focus and intent. If they’re anything to go by, this record could be his most direct record yet.

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He’s working with Greg Kurstin - AKA the pop svengali

If you think of the pop groovers that have set up camp in your head for the last few years, then you can guarantee that one man has had a hand in most of them. Greg Kurstin started life in a variety of bands (including a stint in Beck’s own backing band) but in recent times has turned his attention to pop. From Tegan & Sara, to Shura, Sia, Charli XCX, Carly Rae Jepsen, Lily Allen and Marina & The Diamonds - he knows how to make ultra-cool vibrations at a touch of a dime.

If there’s ever a man qualified to jump into the Beck bubble, then it’s Greg Kurstin. Together, there really is no ceiling to just how bangerific things could get.

The record is partially inspired by a live stop over in the UK, specifically the moment where Beck played Hyde Park ahead of The Strokes

In the midst of touring ‘Morning Phase’ and just after releasing ‘Dreams’ - Beck played a show supporting The Strokes at Hyde Park last summer. According to Mr Hansen, it left a pretty big mark when re-entering the studio.

"It's a summer night,” he explains, “people have their hands up, It's a communal, celebratory thing. I wanted to take that into the studio, a kind of energy or joy. The thing that wakes you up a little bit.”

“We’ve been working on this a few years so this body of songs has this energy I think will be very good for our live shows.”

Expect a plethora of tracks then designed to be blared out on festival stages and arenas around the globe, then.

It’s been a long-time coming, as in work began on the record before ‘Morning Phase’ even came out

Speaking to Zane Lowe on Beats 1 when he dropped ‘Wow’, Beck explained how long the record has been knocking around for. “We had to find that voice or sound which we work towards,” he revealed. “Like I think this could have come out 2 years ago and it would have been fine, but we really wanted to put the extra time in to develop it, make it richer and hopefully something that’s a bit more long-lasting”

Beck’s kids are responsible for ‘WOW’ being on the album

Yeah you read that right. ‘WOW’ was never intended to make it to our ears - but thanks to the intervention of Beck’s children, it made the cut.

They definitely have good taste mate.

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It’s set to drop in October

October 21st to be precise. The perfect way to survive the winter, Beck’s ultimate pop collection is sure to see out the rest of the year in fine fashion.

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