Beck stopped by The Colbert Report on Monday night to chat briefly with host Stephen Colbert and play two songs: One from his new album Morning Phase, and the other off his 2012 collection of sheet music, Song Reader, which sees release in a physical form today, July 29th.
Beck and his band strapped up their acoustic guitars first for “Heart Is a Drum,” delivering a swinging, peppy performance of one of Morning Phase‘s more energetic, uplifting tracks. It was a fitting choice too, as Colbert had ended his interview about Beck’s more mellow new album by jokingly asking, “Why Beck sad?” “I just need a hug,” the musician responded, after which the two dudes did indeed hug it out.
Beck also stuck around for a performance of “Heaven’s Ladder,” a powerful, slide-guitar tinged number off Song Reader and the only track he sings on the album’s new physical release. The rest of the LP was recorded by other artists like Jack White, Fun., Jack Black and Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy. When Colbert cracked if the inspiration for Song Reader came from people telling him, “I love your music, I just hate you playing it,” Beck responded with a smile, “I think I got tired of me playing it.”
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Beck also released the new video for “Heart Is a Drum.” Shot in black-and-white, the clip finds Beck reckoning with his past and meeting up with various iterations of himself from throughout his life, including the rhinestone slacker from the “Loser” video and even, ostensibly, his childhood self. Of course it wouldn’t be a Beck video without some puzzling imagery, and the “Heart Is a Drum” clip comes complete with a doomed love affair played out in front of the grim reaper, and ends on a poignant shot of two astronauts pushing each other on a swing.