Beck posted a new song from Jack White on Twitter today, and it has a kick of southern hospitality. Check out the new video here.
You might think, ‘What does Beck have to do with Jack White?’
Well, the twangy tune isn’t White’s own. He recorded it from a book of sheet music Beck wrote and released back in 2012 called Song Reader.
Beck’s known for his odd innovations, and his Song Reader is no exception. Song Reader is an album without any actual music. You can’t throw it on a record player and go nuts. It’s a book of sheet music and art disguised as an album. Beck wrote 20 songs on paper and included more than 100 art pieces and drawings with its release.
Musicians like Jack White do interpretations of Beck’s songs based on the sheet music. It’s one giant, never-ending music experiment. White did his version of the album’s track ‘I’m Down’ with bluesy, country-fried charm.
It’s what White fans come to expect from one of rock’s most genre-bending performers: straightforward chords with a raunchy, twisted edge. The song is practically old school country, but with the punchy chorus of a punk band playing to a trashy dive bar. Guitars whine a mournful tune as White’s eclectic vocals harmonize along with a chirping, sweet female voice. The melody is simple, sappy and catchy as hell.
The video follows the recent trend of putting music to stylized lyrics. The lyric video moves along an animated piece of sheet music, bouncing through every word White sings. Drawings of blue clouds and pink cowboys on stilts are the only images breaking up the whole thing. The song’s words are front-and-center through the entire three-minute tune.
The lyrics for ‘I’m Down’ are as simple as the rest of the song. They follow a man who feels like he doesn’t belong to any place or anyone. Like most traditional country songs, the narrator is mournful, but with a touch of hope. It’s an ode to the lonely who love a little too much.
White’s version is one of 19 more that will see a release date in the coming months. Beck has a ton of artists joining him on the other songs, including Fun., Jarvis Cocker, Jack Black and Tweedy. He should be releasing more tracks through his website and Twitter feed this year. Keep an eye out for more updates here.
Beck will also be performing at the Art of Elysium Genesis event in September.
Jack White is currently on tour promoting his new album. He suffered an ankle injury earlier this week, but refuses to stop playing until he sees the tour through. You can check out more from White if you’re lucky enough to snag tickets in your home state, or hear his newest album Lazaretto.
In the meantime, listen to his collaboration with Beck on ‘I’m Down’ right here:
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat