Brooklyn-based folk singer and multi-instrumentalist W.C. Beck is set to release his new album, ‘First Flight’, on June 7. It follows on from his previous albums, ‘Sapling’, ‘Kansawyer’, and ‘Quivira’, which he released while living in Portland, Oregon.
The new album – his ninth – saw Beck recording in various locations around New York, and working with engineers from Vanity Sound, and producers Myles Turney and Joel Arnow. Turney and Arnow have an impressive resume, between them having produced no less than Philip Glass, Boy George, and Louden Wainwright III.
Beck also plays with Monteagle, and Swimming Bell, the latter of whom we’ve covered recently with her release, ‘1988’.
Most recent release from the album, ‘Long Way Home’, comes with a music video which juxtaposes the folk and Americana sensibilities of Beck with the bustling day to day life of New York’s denizens. He sings of his displacement in the city, standing playing guitar in the middle of incredibly busy Grand Central Station, or alternatively walking along the promenade at Coney Island, where he still can’t find any tranquillity, it equally being a constant hive of activity.
The lyrics of the song work together in combination with the musical style, and the video, to very clearly convey his discomfiture:
Far from the place
I was born and raised
I find myself
searching for a home
With the tracks on ‘First Flight’ mostly written in Paris while Beck was undertaking his post-graduate studies, it’s easy to see why he’s feeling out of place. It’s an intimate look at what is going on in Beck’s life, we feel his pain at being out of sorts and out of place. His country and Americana roots show through, with gentle percussion and slick steel guitar, the style restoring him to his comfort zone. It’ll be interesting to see how much he allows the “big smoke” of New York to permeate his further releases.