Want to hear Beck’s new album? Well you’ll have to learn to play it yourself. The ever-evolving songwriter is set to release an album’s worth of new material in the form of a book called Song Reader. However, unlike other sheet music books that are made up of songs musicians have heard before, Song Reader contains only unrecorded, unreleased tunes from the solo artist.
According to NME, Song Reader is comprised of 108 pages that make up 20 individual song booklets. Of the 20 tracks, two are instrumentals, and so far two song titles are known: Do We? We Do and Don’t Act Like Your Heart Isn’t Hard.
Song Reader also features individual artwork for each of the 20 tracks, created by the likes of Jessica Hische, Leanne Shapton, Marcel Dzama and Josh Cochran. The song book will be out in December via publishers Faber and Faber, and is meant to enable fans to ‘bring them (the songs) to life’ themselves.
Faber and Faber’s Publishing Director, Lee Brackstone, said he is very excited about the upcoming release.
“Beck is one of the great maverick pop stars of this, or any age, and as soon as I saw ‘Song Reader’ the relevance of the concept struck me. It is thrilling to welcome Beck onto a music list at Faber that is already home to Julian Cope, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Jarvis Cocker, Nicky Wire and others. ‘Song Reader’ makes a radical statement about the value and importance of performed and recorded music at a time when these very things are under threat,” said Brackstone.
As noted by MTV, it’s been four years since Beck released a traditional prerecorded album: 2008’s Modern Guilt. But that doesn’t mean Beck hasn’t been active. He recently guested on the Childish Gambino track Silk Pillow, which features on Gambino’s new mixtape R O Y A L T Y.
Beck will be in Australia later this year on the Harvest Festival 2012 lineup.