Beck’s new song is a measure of his nimbleness: Less than six months after the release of his willfully old-fashioned sheet-music project “Song Reader,” the L.A.-based shape-shifter is back with a blippy electro-pysch jam whose title nods to Facebook.
Posted on Tuesday to YouTube, “Defriended” -- the most Beck-ish thing we’ve heard from Beck since 2008’s Danger Mouse-produced “Modern Guilt” -- is a typically expansive track that layers the singer’s heavily reverbed vocals over folky acoustic guitar, rolling drums, trippy synth licks and droning, sitar-like sounds that remind Pop & Hiss a bit of “Mellow Gold” deep cuts such as “Blackhole” and “Steal My Body Home.”
According to Rolling Stone, “Defriended” won’t be included on either of two new albums Beck is working on at the moment. One is described as an acoustic record along the lines of 1994’s “One Foot in the Grave,” while the other is said to be the proper follow-up to “Modern Guilt” (whatever that means in Beck’s world). At least one more non-album single is expected to appear this summer.
Last month Beck played some of his “Song Reader” material at shows in San Francisco and Santa Cruz, and next month he’s to perform acoustic sets at the Days Off Festival in Paris, the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island and Bob Dylan’s Americanarama show at Jones Beach in Wantagh, N.Y. He’ll then bring his full band to Boston and Brooklyn for two concerts in August.
Listen to “Defriended” below.