Beck Finds Clarity in 'Waking Light'

Hear the latest from the musician's new LP 'Morning Phase'

Beck performs in Newport, Rhode Island.
Douglas Mason/Getty Images
February 4, 2014 10:40 AM ET

Beck finds a fresh sense of clarity on "Waking Light," the latest track off his upcoming album Morning Phase, out February 25th. The cut finds Beck dabbling in a spacious atmosphere similar to the first song we heard off Morning Phase, "Blue Moon" (which also appears on the latest Girls soundtrack), though "Waking Light" veers more towards piano ballad territory, laced with chimes and string swells that build to cathartic closing guitar solo.

See Where Beck's Song Reader Ranked on Our List of 2013's Best Albums

"Waking Light" undoubteldy fits the conceptual throughline of Morning Phase, with Beck telling Rolling Stone last year that the album's 12 songs are set in the early hours of the morning: "It's not heavy-handed, but it's in there," he said. "There's this feeling of tumult and uncertainty, getting through that long, dark night of the soul – whatever you want to call it," he added, with a laugh. "These songs were about coming out of that – how things do get better."

Morning Phase also bares musical and thematic elements similar to Beck's 2002 album, Sea Change, and the musician even reunited the band that made that album to help him out on his latest effort. Beck's father, David Campbell, who did orchestration on Sea Change, also returned to help on brass and string arrangements.

Hear Beck's Charming Cover of John Lennon's "Love"

The new album marks Beck's first official studio release since 2008's Modern Guilt. In 2012, however, he released Song Reader, a collection of new material only available as individual pieces of sheet music, which he played live with star-studded ensembles in London and Los Angeles.

Explaining his infrequent activity over the past few years, Beck told an Argentine newspaper last November that he had suffered spinal damage and needed time to recover. Now back in action, Beck has teased Morning Phase with a cheeky video showing, quite literally, how the album was made.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories


Nelly Furtado with Timbaland | 2006

This club-oriented single featuring Timbaland, who produced Nelly Furtado's third album, Loose, was Furtado’s sexy return after the Canadian singer's exploration of her Portuguese heritage on Folklore. "In the studio, initially I didn’t know if I could do it, 'cause Timbaland wrote that chorus," Furtado said. "I'm like, 'That's cool, but I don't know if I'm ready to do full-out club.'" The flirty lyrics are a dance between a guy and girl, each knowing they will end up in bed together but still playing the game. "Tim and I called it 'The BlackBerry Song,' she said, "because everything we say in the song you could text-message to somebody."

More Song Stories entries »