Beck has never been the most conventional of artists, but he still continues to surprise us with each musical release. He returns with a 20-track collection called Song Reader, but the follow-up to 2008’s Modern Guilt isn’t exactly what anyone expected. The twist? It will only be available as sheet music.
Although there is no definite release date, the compilation will be distributed by publishing house McSweeney’s sometime in December. Adding to the uniqueness, readers have been asked to submit their own versions of Beck’s tracks and the best will be featured on McSweeney’s website.
For fans who aren’t so musically talented, there’s still plenty of incentive to buy Song Reader. It comes with full-color illustrations by several artists, including Marcel Dzama, who created the cover for Beck’s 2005 album Guero. It will also feature an introduction by Slate’s Jody Rosen and a foreword by Beck himself.
While it’s unclear if we will ever hear Beck’s studio versions of these songs, he’s performing a surprise show at Bimbo’s in San Francisco on Aug. 9 and later this weekend at the Outside Lands Festival. So maybe we’ll get lucky.