Listen to a New Single From Beck

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
July 2 2013 11:25 AM

Listen to a New Single From Beck

Beck performs in Los Angeles in May

Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Samsung

For a bit of what seems to be the inspiration for the sound of Beck’s new single, just look to the mop tops on the cover: If you look closely at the painting in the back of the single’s art, you can make out Paul and Ringo, in their early ’60s hairdos, with Paul’s Hofner bass. In writing the song, Beck seems to have had the Fabs in mind, having crafted a track that borrows a phrase the Fabs used again and again, with a soaring chorus that sounds right out of “Blue Jay Way.”

Of course, the track doesn’t sound quite as dusty as all that, building on a simple two-chord groove that could just as easily be by Spoon or (as Pitchfork suggests) Deerhunter, and featuring plenty of slick production. The reverb-heavy outro morphs into another two-chord progression that sounds more than anything like Grizzly Bear’s “Knife.

Beck is harder than ever to pin down these days, what with all the video games and sheet music and massive covers of Bowie tunes. In addition to all that, he apparently has two albums coming out, one an acoustic album and another a follow-up to Modern Guilt. This song, which will be released as a 12-inch single this month, sounds like something that wouldn’t have been out of place on that 2008 album, produced with Danger Mouse. Like many of Guilt’s best tracks, it’s a lush update on a retro sound.

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. 


The Slatest

Ben Bradlee Dead at 93

The legendary Washington Post editor presided over the paper’s Watergate coverage.

This Scene From All The President’s Men Captures Ben Bradlee’s Genius

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again

The XX Factor

I’m 25. I Have $250.03.

My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I’m 25. I Have $250.03. My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

George Tiller’s Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Provider, Claims Free Speech

The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 3:13 PM Why Countries Make Human Rights Pledges They Have No Intention of Honoring
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 1:10 PM Women Are Still Losing Jobs for Getting Pregnant
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
Oct. 21 2014 12:05 PM Same-Sex Couples at Home With Themselves in 1980s America
Oct. 21 2014 5:38 PM Justified Paranoia Citizenfour offers a look into the mind of Edward Snowden.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.