My relationship with Beck’s music has been nothing short of an interesting one. It seems like I go through phases where I admire different facets of his catalogue for various different reasons. Perhaps it depends on my mood, but I suspect quality often comes into play as well. For example, I thought his albums Guero and The Information were rather good when they first came out. A few years later, looking back, I stopped listening to those albums around a year after they were released and haven’t really looked back since. If I don’t get a craving for a song to act as a gateway back into a full length album, there’s an almost pseudo-suggestion that maybe it wasn’t that great to begin with. Yet I don’t exactly hold Beck’s Midnite Vultures in the highest regard, but have listened to it at least once a year since 1999. There’s no faulting Odelay either, and that may be the album I’ve heard in full the most. It’s also got his largest collection of singles too, and for great reason: It’s one of the best albums of the ’90s. But when all is said and done, I think Beck’s true piece de resistance is 2002’s Sea Change. It’s a largely acoustic and somber album, something I only listen to when I’m in a very contemplative or sad mood, yet I can’t help but think it’s the truest representation of the man’s artistic skills. With last year’s Song Reader sheet music ploy as the last official offering from Beck, and one we couldn’t even hear unless we played it ourselves and sang the words with our own voices, I was beginning to wonder if we were ever going to get a follow-up album from 2008’s Modern Guilt. Word on the street was that Beck has been working on a new record since 2008, and whether he’s been dealing with writer’s block or other issues since then, reports surfaced at the start of this week that the new album is finally finished after he found “a burst of inspiration.” That follows in the wake of a handful of new tour dates announced, which at first were all labeled as acoustic shows but have since been adjusted so that only about half of them are. Why acoustic? Apparently that’s what the new album is and he wants to perform a bunch of tracks from it. Does this mean a return to the Sea Change days? One can only hope. Anyways, if you’re on the East or West coasts, there might be a date near you (acoustic or full band). There might be a bunch more in the pipeline as well that will be announced in the coming weeks and months. All I know is that I’d love to see him in Chicago as soon as possible in whatever capacity he might choose. But speaking of choices, there’s plenty in today’s Pick Your Poison. Let me advise you to check out tracks from AfterParty, Ballerina Black, BNLX, Hey Anna, Lemonade, Marina and the Diamonds with Charli XCX, Run the Jewels, The Shouting Matches and SKATERS. In the Soundcloud section, stream new songs from Tessa Rose Jackson, Tricky and Dead Boots.

AfterParty – Jungle Dreams

Ballerina Black – Knves

Bitch – In Us We Trust

BNLX – Vibrant

From the Airport – Timelines

Hawk and Dove – Send Your Blood to War

Hey Anna – Dance Until Three

Lemonade – Perfect Blue

Lyriciss – Vent

Marina and the Diamonds & Charli XCX – Just Desserts

Run the Jewels – Get It

Salvatore Ganacci – Godfather

The Shouting Matches – Avery Hill


The Variable Why – Hazy Mystery


Anton Zap – Water

Dead Boots – I Believe in Love

Tessa Rose Jackson – Lost And Found

Tricky – Tribal Drums (ft. Francesca Belmonte)

When Saints Go Machine ft. Killer Mike – Love and Respect (Teengirl Fantasy Remix)

Young Wonder – Electrified