Everlasting Nothing
by Beck

Album: Hyperspace (2019)

Songfacts®:

  • Beck and Pharrell Williams have been friendly for a long time and started making some music together back in 2012. This spacey track is the first tune they made together. Beck told the UK newspaper The Sun:

    "I was just curious to see where working with him could go. I told him I was curious what his instincts would be when he thought of my music. And he said, 'Well, we are going to make some Sgt. Pepper's. Which, of course, stirred my imagination!"
  • Neither artist knew what to expect. Beck explained to The Independent he's a fan of Pharrell's collaboration with Snoop Dogg, "Drop It Like It's Hot," and things he's done with Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake.

    "I think he likes to spend time with the artist and go in a direction he feels reflects that person," Beck said. "The first thing we ended up doing was a song called 'Everlasting Nothing', which couldn't be further from 'Drop It Like It's Hot.'"
  • The pair didn't complete the song until seven years later because Pharrell was consumed by other projects. Beck told the Sydney Morning Herald: "It kind of had this elegiac, hymn-like quality but with 808 beats, and it just didn't seem to fit with what was happening at the time."

    Eventually, Beck seized the moment and recruited Williams to help him with his Hyperspace album. Seven of the album's 11 tracks, including "Everlasting Nothing," were co-written and co-produced by the Neptunes producer.
  • Lyrically, this is a reflection on mortality and a tribute to friends who have "come and gone" before him. Beck, who identifies as Jewish, refers to death as the "everlasting nothing." This seems to imply he's unsure whether to believe in the traditional Judeo-Christian teaching of an eternal afterlife or the secular view of oblivion after death.
  • Everyone was waiting there for me
    Like a standing ovation for the funeral of the sun
    In the everlasting nothing


    When Beck was looking for a name for his 2002 breakup album, Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips suggested Standing Ovation for the Funeral of the Sun as a title. Instead, Beck called it Sea Change and used the line 17 years later to describe his rebirth in the cosmic unknown.
  • Beck and Williams played all the instruments between them on the track. Beck contributes vocals, guitar and piano while Pharrell performs drums and keyboards. The song also features a nine-person gospel choir, who act like a siren call to the afterlife.

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