Beck Previews ‘Morning Phase’ With Stunning Orchestral ‘Wave’ Debut
'Song Reader' concert offers Los Angeles Philharmonic-backed debut from February 2014 album
The Golden State’s got deserts, it’s got trees, it’s got the hills of Beverley. Beck has described his upcoming studio album Morning Phase, due out in February 2014 via Capitol, as “California music,” name-checking the Byrds, Gram Parsons, Neil Young, and Crosby, Stills, and Nash. But the “Loser” auteur has also indicated that his first proper album since 2008’s enduring Modern Guilt would include brass and string arrangements by his father, David Campbell, who worked on 2002’s Sea Change.
At a Song Reader set in Los Angeles on November 24, Beck debuted “Wave,” a song reportedly set for Morning Phase, and it was the somber, orchestral, and, yes, gorgeous variety of California music. “Isolation,” the singer repeats near the end, in between near-falsetto flights that highlight the song’s overall similarity to Radiohead’s string-draped 2009 song for last surviving World War I veteran Harry Patch — which is not to be confused with Beck’s song about 20th-century composer Harry Partch. Who was from California, where on the night of Beck’s concert the American Music Awards were also in town. All of which means Cali is where Macklemore puts racial profiling down, for which we give him a rare bit of love.
Watch Beck’s “Wave” above (via Stereogum), and see Jenny Lewis and Anne Hathaway sing Song Reader’s “Last Night You Were a Dream” below. Also revisit his recent live debut of a song called “Wake Up,” which has not been named as a track for the album.