If Beck's upcoming 13th studio album is the return to (offbeat) form that's been promised, then the surreal video for "Wow" that the singer dropped Tuesday (Sept. 13) makes perfect sense. In that it makes no sense.
Beck Shares New Song 'Wow,' Discussed Forthcoming Album: 'It Exists'
Co-directed by Beck and Grady Hall, the clip hopscotches between Western scenes with rugged cowboys, brightly colored slo-mo dance routines featuring kids, Beck doing his signature herky-jerky moves on a street corner, flowers with eyeballs, 1980s 8-bit graphics and a weird dude sitting in traffic with smoke pouring out of his eye sockets.
In addition to cameos from Beck's kids, Cosimo and Tuesday; Strokes guitarist Nick Valensi's son, Silvan; as well as second-unit direction by actor and brother-in-law Giovanni Ribisi, the video is a collaboration with a large group of visual and digital artists, including Sam Cannon, Randy Cano, Andy Gregg, David McLeod, John McLaughlin, Jess Rona and Steve Smith. According to Beck's reps, the project came about as part of a first-ever Instagram Explore feature song premiere in June, where dozens of Instagram artists' visuals synched to snippets of the song received a combined 6 million views. You can still see those clips at Beck.com.
"The cumulative effect of viewing images on Instagram and other places online was an influence," Beck said at the time of the project. "Now you can scroll through the most disparate, diverse and fascinating images in the span of minutes. It's a new form of experiencing visual media. The infinite amount of stuff out there is overwhelming and inspiring in the way that you have a form of expression that is alive and changing every second. Unlike a book or a film, it is continuously flowing, changing and is non-linear."
Watch a behind-the-scenes video from the "Wow" shoot.
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Beck is headed out on a mini-tour starting Thursday and is putting the finishing touches on the album, whose title has not yet been announced. The follow-up to his Grammys album of the year-winning Morning Phase was co-produced by former bandmate Greg Kurstin (Sia, Adele, Kelly Clarkson). Beck is also featured on the upcoming Lady Gaga album.