Continuing his fine tradition of doing pretty much what the hell he feels like, having most recently treated us to a sheet music release (let’s rock like its 1919) for his upcoming release Morning Phase Beck is harking back very deliberately to Sea Change, his 2002 flight of acoustic fancy.

Sea Change (folk, dreamy but not so psych) followed Midnite Vultures (dirty, funky), itself a successor to the laid-back, stripped back Mutations. And here we are again with more Sea Change, more change, but also more of the same.

And like the ancestor that inspired it, Morning Phase is shaping up to be a beautiful, slowly unfurling late-night companion, or the soundtrack to a perfect afternoon lying in the grass, cloud-watching. Waking Light comes in various shades, all of them mellow; layer upon layer of distant strings, synths, and echoed vocals rise and fall, before giving way to the year’s first truly great outro.