Beck mixes his slack-rap roots with outrageous pop production on his vibrant new track, “Wow.”
The song boasts a sugary barrage of synth and bass sounds, all of which are anchored by rapt, trap snares. Beck meanwhile shows off the full range of his vocal capabilities, from the non-sequitur spitting of Mellow Gold and Odelay (“Girl in a bikini with a Lamborghini Shih Tzu,” he rhymes on “Wow”) to the soft falsetto crooning of Sea Change and Morning Phase.
Beck began teasing “Wow” Wednesday with a series of short clips on Instagram that hinted at a forthcoming video compiled by a variety of artistic collaborators. One videographer/photographer, Alicia Ward, wrote, “The song is about the moments in life that leave you in awe of the world.”
“Wow” marks Beck’s first solo song since his 2015 single, “Dreams,” which was co-written by Sia collaborator Greg Kurstin and writer/producer Andrew Wyatt. The track’s contemporary dance-heavy sound once again showed Beck to be a deft sonic shapeshifter, arriving just one year after the beatific country-rock and folk stylings of 2014’s Grammy-winning Morning Phase.
While Beck has yet to officially announce the follow-up to Morning Phase, he told Zane Lowe on Beats 1 radio that the album did “exist.” The musician also spoke about making the record with Kurstin — who once played in Beck’s live band and has been a regular studio collaborator — and how they actually started recording a year before the release of Morning Phase.