Beck + Pharrell Team Up On "Saw Lightning"

Did... not see this one coming.

April 16, 2019

Kevin Winter / Getty


In a week of big Alternative headlines (looking at you, Coachella), the biggest surprise came in the form of a new song from genre staple Beck, whose return not only marks new music, but new music produced by genre-hopping legend, Pharrell.  

While much of the N.E.R.D./Neptunes collaborator's time is spent crafting works for the likes of Ariana Grande, Kendrick Lamar, and well, frankly, things outside of our playlist, his dabbling in the genre is not unprecedented, perhaps most notably via his interstellar smash with Daft Punk, "Get Lucky". Time will tell if this latest tune "Saw Lightning", will enter that same pantheon, though.

See Also: Cage The Elephant and Beck Join Forces for "Night Running"

The track itself stands as our first taste of a forthcoming full Beck LP, which according to an accompanying press release, will be out "at an as yet undetermined point in the space-time continuum".  Which sort of goes with the theme of the album's title, 'Hyperspace'.

Speaking on the tune's sonics, it's both a return to form for the Alt pioneer, with slide guitars, harmonica, and his signature flow, alongside a full-on blend with Pharrell's iconic, rhythmically pulsing style.  

The pair seem to have first got together sometime before 2017 when Beck revealed in an interview, the pair originally sought to create a "happy" track, which they then abandoned when Pharrell created the now ubiquitous and aptly titled... "Happy".  The fact that this song has materialized at all is rather astonishing in that context. Hear it for yourself, below.

Beck will be bringing his energetic live show to Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, NY on August 17th and New Jersey's PNC Bank Arts Center on August 20th alongside Cage the Elephant and Spoon. Click the links for details and tickets.