Beck has opened up about his forthcoming album Morning Phase, which has been framed as a “companion piece” to 2002’s Sea Change. Talking with Rolling Stone, Beck admitted that Morning Phase, which is due out in February 2014, carries on the tradition of “California music”:
“I’m just fumbling around with chords and a mood. The songs are coming out of a California tradition. I’m hearing The Byrds, Crosby Stills and Nash, Gram Parsons, Neil Young – the bigger idea of what that sound is to me.”
Beck also reveals that when he returned to Nashville in 2011 to cut a one-off single for Jack White’s Third Man label, he wrote a couple of other tracks to keep for his next release. “At the end of it, it wasn’t quite there,” he confesses. “But I ended up keeping a few songs.” Waking Light, Blackbird Chain and the Dylan-esque Country Down have all made it onto Morning Phase.
Beck also admitted that he’s in the middle of creating a follow-up to Morning Phase, which he hopes to release in late 2014. It’s clear that he’s contemplating bringing a vibrant live energy to the album as it won’t be a solo acoustic release. “I’m thinking about the live show, a certain energy,” he says. “That’s a whole other kind of writing – and difficult to do. You’re writing for a studio environment that is the antithesis of where the song is going to live.”
Beck recently said that a spinal injury has slowed his musical output, leading to a focus on producing other artists’ work in recent years. Morning Phase will be Beck’s first album in six years, following on from 2008’s well-received Modern Guilt. A number of guest-appearances on the album have already been confirmed, including Joey Waronker, Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Jason Falkner, Smokey Hormel and Roger Joseph Manning Jr. Check out Beck’s new track (and possible Morning Phase inclusion) Gimme, below.
Listen: Beck – Gimme