Beck teases new music with return to irony

Beck receiving his Winner for Album Of The Year award at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Feb 8, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP 
Beck receiving his Winner for Album Of The Year award at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Feb 8, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP 

NEW YORK (AFP) - Alternative rock icon Beck on Thursday hinted he was ready to release new music and signaled he would return to his ironic side.

Beck, who won the Grammy for Album of the Year in February for his introspective Morning Phase, posted a GIF file on his social media accounts that simply gave the title Dreams. The image shows Beck in an abstract, carnival-like atmosphere, with flashing objects around his face that resemble small billiard balls and twisted sticks.

He did not elaborate further but Kyle Smith, the director of WYEP, an independent radio station in Pittsburgh, wrote on Twitter that it would broadcast a new song from Beck at 1600 GMT on Monday (Tuesday 12am, Singapore time).

Beck has released 12 studio albums that have almost all won critical acclaim while varying widely in style.

He first became known for his ironic rock - which brought in absurdist lyricism and a range of influences including hip-hop and Mexican street performers from his native Los Angeles.

But Beck stripped down his sound and delved into darker emotional territory on 2002's Sea Change, which charted the end of a longtime relationship, and last year's Morning Phase, which was considered a sequel.

In an interview last year with Los Angeles radio station KCRW, Beck said that his next album would be "more boisterous", while adding that he did not feel comfortable assigning an adjective.

Morning Phase beat out albums by much better-selling artists including Beyonce and Sam Smith to win the Grammy.

Beck's victory led to criticism by the rapper Kanye West, who said that the Grammys should reward commercial success.