20 years ago, the combination of Beck and Pharrell Williams would’ve seemed like the coolest thing that could ever possibly happen. Today, it’s still pretty cool. Last month, Beck announced the forthcoming album Hyperspace, which comes out in a few weeks. Beck worked with a few different producers on the LP, like Paul Epworth and old collaborator Greg Kurstin. But it appears that he made most of the album with Pharrell, the two of them coming together to create a bleary and ruminative sort of synthpop. We’ve already heard a few of the Beck/Pharrell collaborations: “Saw Lightning,” “Uneventful Days,” the intro track “Hyperlife.” Today, we get another one.
Beck co-wrote “Dark Places” with Pharrell. It’s a slow, ambling song, built from both an acoustic-guitar strum and a rich, hazy synth sound. Beck, singing as high as his voice will let him go, reflects on a breakup: “Time moves on, and on and love, it goes / Now she’s gone, and all I see are shadows.” It’s closer to Sea Change than it is to Midnite Vultures, which is not something I would’ve ever expected to say about a Beck/Pharrell collab.
Beck co-wrote “Dark Places” with Pharrell, and the two of them co-produced it with David Greenbaum, who also produced the previous singles. Pharrell plays keyboards and drums on the song. In the Hyperlife press release, Beck says that Pharrell pushed him to do “singer-songwriter type of songs,” and you can definitely hear that in “Dark Places.” Listen below.
Hyperspace is out 11/22 on Capitol.