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Beck Releases Reimagined Version of "Saw Lightning"

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Well, it’s Beck’s 49th birthday today, and the prolific musician has celebrated by releasing a reimagined “freestyle” version of his most recent single, “Saw Lightning.”

“Saw Lightning (Freestyle)” is a complete stylistic departure from the original song, a frenzied, electronic-driven track held together by acoustic slide guitar and heavy synth. The newer version strips back the original’s fleeting Pharrell background vocals and heavy bass, leaving only Beck’s voice, a harmonica and pulsating stomping as percussion.

An accompanying Giovanni Ribisi-directed video finds the musician obscured by shadows in a three-piece suit and top hat as he battles with his harmonica on a deserted stage—a minimalistic visual fitting for a minimalistic rendition.

“Saw Lightning” is the first cut from Beck’s forthcoming 14th album, Hyperspace, due out at “an as yet undetermined point in the space time continuum” via Capital Records, per a press release. The original was released back in April, so it’s been a long time coming for updates on Hyperspace.

Beck will spend the rest of the summer on a co-headlining amphitheater tour with Cage the Elephant and Spoon. You can check out the upcoming dates below, along with the new single and a 2006 Beck performance from the Paste archives.

Beck Tour Dates with Cage the Elephant and Spoon:

July
11 – Ridgefield, Wash. @ Sunlight Supply Amphitheater*
13 – George, Wash. @ Gorge Amphitheatre*
16 – Mountain View, Calif. @ Shoreline Amphitheatre*
17 – Irvine, Calif. @ FivePoint Amphitheatre*
19 – Las Vegas, Nev. @ Park Theater*
20 – Chula Vista, Calif. @ North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre*
21 – Phoenix, Ariz. @ Ak-Chin Pavilion*
23 – Denver, Colo. @ Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre*
26 – Austin, Texas @ Austin360 Amphitheater+
27 – Dallas, Texas @ Dos Equis Pavilion+
28 – Houston, Texas @ The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion +
30 – St. Louis, Mo. @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre+
31 – Chicago, Ill. @ Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island+

August
02 – Cincinnati, Ohio @ Riverbend Music Center+
03 – Detroit, Mich. @ DTE Energy Music Theatre+
04 – Indianapolis, Ind. @ Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center+
11 – Toronto, Ontario @ Budweiser Stage^
12 – Saratoga Springs, N.Y. @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center^
13 – Darien Center, N.Y. @ Darien Lake Amphitheater^
15 – Mansfield, Mass. @ Xfinity Center^
16 – Gilford, N.H. @ Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion^
17 – New York, N.Y. @ Forest Hills Stadium
20 – Holmdel, N.J. @ PNC Bank Arts Center^
21 – Camden, N.J. @ BB&T Pavilion^
22 – Columbia, Md. @ Merriweather Post Pavilion^
24 – Raleigh, N.C. @ Coastal Credit Union Music Park ^
25 – Charlotte, N.C. @ PNC Music Pavilion Charlotte^
27 – Birmingham, Ala. @ Oak Mountain Amphitheatre^
29 – Tampa, Fla. @ MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre^
30 – West Palm Beach, Fla. @ Coral Sky Amphitheatre^

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