Yes you heard that right. Recording artist Beck Hansen has announced the release of an experimental new album that will take music back to the days when recording technology didn’t exist. It’s a book of sheet music, basically, and McSweeney’s will publish it in December 2012.
In the wake of Modern Guilt and The Information, Beck’s latest album comes in an almost-forgotten form—twenty 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.
The four-time platinum artist rose to underground popularity with his early works, which combined social criticism (as in “MTV Makes Me Want To Smoke Crack” and “Deep Fried Love”) with musical and lyrical experimentation. He first earned wider public attention for his breakthrough single”Loser“, a 1994 hit. Beck is known for creating musical collages of different styles.
Beck’s decision not to perform the music himself seemed lazy to some, “hipsterish” to many, but at least one person knew exactly how to handle it. A few hours after McSweeney’s released a single page of “Do We? We Do” to promote the album, a fan posted an arrangement of the song on Sound Cloud.