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Beck Song ‘Cities’ Previewed in New ‘Sound Shapes’ Trailer

Michael Buckner, Getty Images

On Wednesday (July 18), we got word that Beck has contributed three songs to a video game, ‘Sound Shapes,’ that will be available on Aug. 7. Since then, a trailer was released that gives us a preview of one of those songs, ‘Cities.’

In the trailer, designer Steve Wilson discusses how Beck’s songs inspired his creations. “If you ever listen to a Beck song, there’s just layers and layers of sounds,” he said. “So we had to pull all that apart and just basically close our eyes and imagine what the sounds could actually look like when embodied by a character.”

‘Cities’ features stacked, electronically altered vocals and polyrhythms that are simultaneously childlike and complex. The lyrics (“Break a little / Move a little / Hurt a little / Turn a little“) aren’t much, but when you’re playing a video game you don’t want to hear, say, ‘Lost Cause.’

“At first I started with a big stack of blank paper with headphones and started to doodle,” Wilson continues. “Characters and creatures will start to kind of appear. Hopefully what happens is that you pull back and you see this whole universe of all these strange, frenetic creatures that do their different things and each corresponds to a different sound or track of the song. The idea is that it definitely reflects the mood and tone of the song.”

Beck’s other two songs for ‘Sound Shapes’ are ‘Touch the People’ and ‘Spiral Staircase.’

Watch the Trailer for ‘Sound Shapes’ Featuring Beck’s ‘Cities’

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