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NPR Arts & Life

Listen: Beck and Pharrell Team Up For 'Saw Lightning'

Beck's new album, <em>Hyperspace,</em> is due out sometime later this year.
Beck's new album, <em>Hyperspace,</em> is due out sometime later this year.

It sort of stood to reason that after winning multiple Grammys this decade — including one for Album of the Year — Beck would retire to the cushy corners of modern alt-rock. As a testament to that, he even collaborated with Cage the Elephant earlier this year. But Beck, ever the disruptor of standards, took a pivot into left-field. He's announced a new album, Hyperspace,as well as a new single, "Saw Lightning" today. It's due out, according to a press release, "at an as yet undetermined point in the space time continuum."

This time, Beck's linked up with Top 40 architect (and fellow seemingly-ageless artist) Pharrell Williams, who adds his own distinct stylings to the mix. It's a far cry from the glossy leanings of Colorsand the gentle thrums of Morning Phase. You might go so far to describe it as Beck at his most yeehaw, with plenty of slide guitar and harmonica spiked with a little N.E.R.D. rap-rock. "Old Town Road," eat your heart out. (And, lest we forget, Beck's the reason for Pharrell's infamous big hat.)

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