Thursday, August 23, 2012

Beck | Song Reader

Beck has just announced that his forthcoming album, his 12th, will be titled Song Reader and will feature 20 new songs, including "Do We? We Do" and "Don't Act Like Your Heart Isn't Hard". It is slated for release in December. However, the album will only be issued as sheet music. There will be no recorded component to the release - no CD or vinyl, and no MP3s.

"Song Reader is an experiment in what an album can be at the end of 2012 — an alternative that enlists the listener in the tone of every track, and that’s as visually absorbing as a dozen gatefold LPs put together," according to publishers McSweeney's.

I'd personally prefer the sheet music to be released straight, without visual accompaniment, but given McSweeney's lavish approach to publishing, visual embellishment was inevitable. The 108 pages of music will come in a carrying case and new artwork has been commissioned to illustrate each song. The artists include Marcel Dzama (whose work was used for the cover of Guero) and Leanne Shapton.

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