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Beck to release album as song reader

Thursday 9 August 2012

Beck to release album as song reader

After eleven albums in the space of two decades, it’s almost a case of natural evolution that Beck should surprise fans with his twelfth release.

Slated for December, Beck Hansen's Song Reader will be released through publishing house McSweeney’s as 108 pages of sheet music with 20 new songs inside 20 individual booklets. Of the 20 tracks, 18 include lyrics, with the other two entirely instrumental.

Announcing the reader on his website, Beck says it “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.

“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.”

McSweeney’s also plan to release both fan-made and artist renditions of Beck’s new tracks on their website.

The reader will arrive to fans encased in hardcover, illustrated by Marcel Dzama (who designed Beck's album Guero), Leanne Shapton, Josh Cochran and Jessica Hische, with an introduction written by New York Times contributor Jody Rosen and a foreword written by Beck himself.

Beck will perform in Australia this November as headlining act for the second Harvest festival.

- Poppy Reid, The Music Network