Jeff Beck plays a thoughtful, bright guitar line through the ballad “Scared for the Children,” a track off his upcoming album Loud Hailer, which will come out on July 15th. Meanwhile, vocalist Rosie Bones – who, along with her Bones bandmate Carmen Vandenberg, wrote the album with Beck – sings about “the end of the Age of the Innocent.” As the song unfolds, Beck plays a pensive, fluid solo full of spiraling, Hendrix-y blues licks and trembling, expressive highs. Rolling Stone previously called “Scared for the Children” “the album’s standout.”
When Beck announced Loud Hailer, he said that he wanted it to “make a statement about some of the nasty things I see going on in the world today.” “Scared for the Children,” he says, dovetails perfectly into that theme. “The message is fairly clear,” Beck tells Rolling Stone of the song. “Rosie interpreted my thematic brief, with regard to modern youth being dumbed down by endless drivel on TV.”
He went deeper on the musical side of the song in another interview that will come out in Rolling Stone next month. When asked about why the song contained strong echoes of Hendrix, he said the influence “inadvertently” came out that way. “It’s [Hendrix’s] ‘Angel’ … there’s no escape,” Beck said. “I’ve never loved Hendrix more than I do now.”
Beck has previously said that he intended Loud Hailer to signal a departure from “guitar nerd” albums. In addition to drafting Bones and Vandenberg as collaborators to write songs that complemented vocals more, Beck sought out other influences including that of Brazilian electronic artist Amon Tobin. “I’ve been listening to some really deep club stuff from Ibiza, and I’ve been thinking, ‘What a waste of a good drum sound,'” he said at a press conference. He also cited Kurdish music as an inspiration.
Additional reporting by David Fricke.