An overview/ first taste of an upcoming (Beck produced) studio album from Sonic Youth mastermind Thurston Moore.
When news surfaced last year that Thurston Moore had hired Beck to produce his new album, it was easy to imagine their collaboration taking one of two paths: They could go loud, or they could go quiet. Considering the body of work the two iconoclastic musicians have amassed over the years, either would have made sense.
For nearly 30 years with Sonic Youth, Moore has created everything from eccentric pop tunes to lengthy rock-outs and free-form noise experimentation, and he’s earned the freedom to explore his esoteric musical interests in various side projects. Similarly, Beck has been known to toggle back and forth between rambunctious, hip-hop-infused rock and moody, cosmic folk.
For Demolished Thoughts — out May 24 — Moore went the latter route, eschewing the tension and noise for an introspective acoustic sound. His songs here are about as lyrically earnest and evocative as anything he’s written. “Simple pleasures strike like lighting, scratches spell her name / Thunder demons swipe her halo and then they run away / But I know better than to let her go,” he sings in “Benediction,” an ode to the stability of love. At the song’s center are layered guitar textures formed around open tunings that ring out underneath Moore’s cool, composed vocal delivery.