In the wake of Modern Guilt and The Information, Beck’s latest project comes in an almost-forgotten formtwenty songs existing only as individual pieces of sheet music, never before released or recorded. Complete with full-color, heyday-of-home-play-inspired art for each song and a lavishly produced hardcover carrying case, Song Reader is an experiment in what an album can be at the end of 2012an alternative that enlists the listener in the tone of every track, and that’s as visually absorbing as a dozen gatefold LPs put together. The songs here are as unfailingly exciting as you’d expect from their author, but if you want to hear Do We? We Do,” or Don’t Act Like Your Heart Isn’t Hard,” bringing them to life depends on you.
Featuring original art from Marcel Dzama (who created the imagery for Beck’s acclaimed Guero), Leanne Shapton, Josh Cochran, Jessica Hische, and many more.
Including an introduction by Jody Rosen (Slate, the New York Times) and a preface by Beck.
Readers’ (and select musicians’) renditions of the songs will be featured on the McSweeney’s website.
Since 1993, Beck has released eleven albums; two of them, Odelay and Sea Change, were included on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. As a producer and collaborator, he’s worked with dozens of other artists, including Charlotte Gainsbourg and Thurston Moore. He lives in Los Angeles.