Years active: 1993 - present
Influenced: Toro Y Moi, Influenced artists to produce their own music
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Jam: "Go It Alone." An indolent ode strolling down a bass line through the inner-workings of Beck's meandering mind.
His latest release was an album that came out as sheet music, not recorded by him—does that even count as an album? Part of the craft of being an indie musician includes performance, but we all know Beck can do that. As one of the most varied musicians and eclectic composers of the last decade, Beck draws hip-hop, blues, anti-folk and grunge into his tracks, sounding simultaneously futuristic and vintage. Lo-fi, world music elements and self-deprecation all meet in Beck's slow drawl. Beat-heavy and stereo-friendly, Beck circulated the rock scenes of America like a new drug, passed on cautiously but with much enthusiasm. Throughout the course of his career the singer has released records that are satirical, non-existent (re: sheet music), romantic, psychedelic, gritty—the list goes on. Beck is a major figure in the direction of indie rock in the 2000s, opening up the post-modern ideas of pastiche and simulacru to a whole new generation.