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Stream: Beck’s new album Morning Phase

on February 16, 2014, 11:21pm

Beck will return with his first album of new, recorded material in six years with Morning Phase, due February 25th via Capitol Records. In anticipation, the album is streaming in-full at NPR.org.

Morning Phase follows 2008’s Modern Guilt, as well as 2012’s sheet music album Song Reader. According to press for the new record, it functions as a companion piece to 2002’s Sea Change, as it “harkens back to the stunning harmonies, songcraft and staggering emotional impact of that record, while surging forward with infectious optimism.” It’s no coincidence that musicians such as Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Joey Waronker, Smokey Hormel, Roger Joseph Manning Jr., and Jason Falkner performed on both that album and Morning Phase.

In a recent interview with BillboardBeck said the spark for the new record came when he reconvened with his Sea Change band in 2012 to play Los Angeles’ El Rey Theater; it had been almost a decade since they’d played together. “In the interim, a lot of life has happened,” Beck said. “It had a huge impact on all of us, to revisit those songs. I think we were all feeling them in a different, maybe deeper way.” That impact eventually spun out into Morning Phase, described by Billboard as “the aftermath of the aftermath” that was Sea Change.

Once the band reunited in the studio, old instincts kicked in. “It’s the same room with the same guys,” Meldal-Johnsen recalled, “with the same microphones and a lot of the same equipment and the same engineer. We don’t even talk when we start these songs; we just listen and respond. These are the tones and sounds and approaches that come forth from that recipe and these five guys. I think Beck responds to music in that trusting way, where he lets things unfold without judgment.”

Pre-orders for Morning Phase are currently ongoing. Below, listen to the album’s closing track, “Morning Light”, followed by the complete tracklisting. Beck will also perform some of the new tunes when he appears on the March 1st episode of SNL.

Morning Phase Tracklist:
01. Cycle
02. Morning
03. Heat is a Drum
04. Say Goodbye
05. Blue Moon
06. Unforgiven
07. Wave
08. Don’t Let It Go
09. Blackbird Chain
10. Phase
11. Turn Away
12. Country Down
13. Waking Light

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