Beck Talks Abandoned Pharrell Collab And “Really Happy” New Album Set For Spring

Last summer, when Beck released the truly confounding single “Wow,” he announced that he had a new album featuring production from Greg Kurstin slated for release that October on Capital. Then the album’s release was pushed back to November, but it’s March and we still have no follow-up to 2014’s orchestral-folk opus Morning Phase. But it appears now that a new Beck album is officially back on the horizon, and it will be a far more upbeat affair than its predecessor.

Speaking with The New York TimesT Magazine, Beck described his new songs as “simple and uplifting and galvanizing, where the spirit moves you, that kind of feeling,” and that the album will be released this spring. Beck also shared an anecdote of going into the studio to work with Pharell with the intention of creating “something really happy,” before the Neptune showed him his then-new single “Happy.” Deciding that Pharell had already “nailed that feeling,” Beck decided to move onto something else for their collaboration, although the result of those sessions have yet to appear.

Kendrick Lamar was also interviewed for the piece, and he shared an update about his “very urgent” fourth studio LP and where his headspace is right now:

I think now, how wayward things have gone within the past few months, my focus is ultimately going back to my community and the other communities around the world where they’re doing the groundwork. ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ was addressing the problem. I’m in a space now where I’m not addressing the problem anymore. We’re in a time where we exclude one major component out of this whole thing called life: God. Nobody speaks on it because it’s almost in conflict with what’s going on in the world when you talk about politics and government and the system.

Then, in response to his interviewer having a young daughter, Kendrick said the following:

This is what goes on in my mind as a writer. One day, I may have a little girl. And it’s a girl in particular — funny you said that. She’s gonna grow up. She’s gonna be a child I adore, I’m gonna always love her, but she’s gonna reach that one point where she’s gonna start experiencing things. And she’s gonna say things or do things that you may not condone, but it’s the reality of it and you know she was always gonna get to that place. And it’s disturbing. But you have to accept it. You have to accept it and you have to have your own solutions to figure out how to handle the action and take action for it.

When I say ‘the little girl,’ it’s the analogy of accepting the moment when she grows up. We love women, we enjoy their company. At one point in time I may have a little girl who grows up and tells me about her engagements with a male figure — things that most men don’t want to hear. Learning to accept it, and not run away from it, that’s how I want this album to feel.

You can read both Beck and Kendrick’s interviews here.