Funny Beck, blue Beck, rapping Beck. Fans got all three this week as the trailblazing singer-songwriter released a new single through Third Man Records with Jack White, and collaborated with Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover) on a one-off posted to the rapper’s website.
As previously reported, Beck Hansen dropped by White’s Third Man Nashville studio at the tail-end of a album recording mission, with White producing and guesting what would be “I Just Started Hating Some People Today” with B-Side saddy “Blue Randy.”
As was discussed in my interview with Third Man cohort Reggie Watts, the label loves to mix comedy with music, but that’s been a part of Beck’s history for years. He weaves his snark and deadpan with a country guitar performance and loping, cool melodies on this A-Side, grinding it to an halt with White screaming and a casual woman’s voice showing you the door. Who he hates — and if he really hates — may not be the message, but it’s a theme and that would fit perfectly well on White’s solo effort “Blunderbuss.”
The singer-songwriter goes into his typical bonkers wordplay mode on “Silk Pillow,” rapping with Gambino in a bro-down of dorks dorking out. Beyond those obvious motifs, the co-production is what holds this attention-deficit ditty together. A fun outing for the boys, but not sure how long it will last for the community.
Stream “Silk Pillow” here. Enjoy Big Ghost’s liner notes and that amusing “cover.”
So… more on that full-length? Whatever studio set Beck is cooking up, it will be his first since 2006’s “The Information,” though he’s obviously stayed busy in the years since, like producing Stephen Malkmus’ last, writing for “Scott Pilgrim,” pumping out Record Club collaborations and plotting some festival outings for this summer.