Defriended
By: Beck Hansen

Written by: Beck Hansen

Versions:
  1. Defriended (3:46)
    Available on Defriended.
    Credits
    Recorded at: Ocean Way
    Gus Seyffert: Bass (Upright)
    Joey Waronker: Drums, Percussion
    Cassidy Turbin: Engineer, Programming, Saxophone
    Cole Marsden Grief-Neill: Engineer, Mix, Programming
    Darrell Thorp: Engineer
    Drew Brown: Engineer
    Beck Hansen: Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Mix, Organ, Producer, Programming, Synthesizer, Vocals
    Jason Falkner: Guitar (Electric), Synthesizer
  2. Defriended (extended version) (14:01)
    Available on Defriended.
    Credits
    Recorded at: Ocean Way
    Gus Seyffert: Bass (Upright)
    Joey Waronker: Drums, Percussion
    Cassidy Turbin: Engineer, Programming, Saxophone
    Cole Marsden Grief-Neill: Engineer, Mix, Programming
    Darrell Thorp: Engineer
    Drew Brown: Engineer
    Beck Hansen: Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Mix, Organ, Producer, Programming, Synthesizer, Vocals
    Jason Falkner: Guitar (Electric), Synthesizer
 
Lyrics:
Defriended [Version (a)]:

Lay your arms down
Say your prayers
Liquidate before you turn it
Liquidate before you turn it
Levitate before you turn it all around
Liquidate before you turn it all around
Oh Karin, turn it all around
Karin, turn it all around
Why are you so unfaithful?
Why are you so unavailable?
Why are you so ungrateful?
Cheating
Cheating
Turn it all around
Turn it all around
Defriended (extended version) [Version (b)]:

Becomes a transient
It speaks to you
She crosses over


Liquidate before you shatter
All around

Why are you so unavailable?

Lay your arms down
Say your prayer
Liquidate before you turn it
Liquidate before you turn it
Levitate before you turn it all around
Liquidate before you turn it all around
Oh Karin, turn it all around
Karin, turn it all around
Why are you so unfaithful?
Why are you so unavailable?
Why are you so ungrateful?

Cheating
Cheating
Waiting
Cheating

When I saw you in your blue jeans
Dance around the wall
Dance around the wall
(When I saw you)
You escaped to the carnival lights
Tore my eyes
Liquidate before you turn it all around
Liquidate before you turn it all around

Cheating
Turn it all around
Cheating
Turn it all around
Cheating
Turn it all around
Cheating
Turn it all around
Cheating

Cheating
Wasting
Cheating
Wasting
Cheating
Wasting
Cheating
Wasting
Cheating
 
The Song:

We first learned of "Defriended" when Beck copyrighted a song with this title in April 2013.

A short while later, "Defriended" could be heard on Youtube, where someone anonymous uploaded it for all to hear.

A week later Beck uploaded his own version to his own Youtube account, with a somewhat improved sound quality. It was then announced that it would be a standalone single, and not be on any of Beck's upcoming albums. It was solely available as a digital download for about a week, and then Beck announced you could buy a vinyl 12" single. The single includes an extended 14-minute version of the song (which quite frankly blows the 3-minute cut away; there's no reason to ever listen to the short one).

According to the liner notes on the single, the song was mainly recorded back in 2008, but then finished off in 2012. Beck has since explained that it was intended for an album in 2008, but one that he never quite finished. (As were the other two 2013 singles, "Gimme" and "I Won't Be Long".)

The song goes on a journey, through new wave sections to acoustic guitar, all with Beck's melodies going in and out and returning. The drumming is heavy, the vocals light, the song moody. 14 minutes of bliss.

I hear lots of other older Beck songs in some aspects ("Let's Get Lost," "Cities," Beck's IRM background vocals, buried acoustic guitar like on Information, even a little ".000.000"). But stepping back, it still feels fresh, alive.

Lyrically, the song is very unique for Beck. He rarely if ever has written lyrics without some sort of verse/chorus structure (or even without rhymes!). There's even a notable lack of imagery in the song, something Beck usually relies on (and excels at). These forms though are part of being a pop writer, and in many ways this is far far from the usual songwriting (though still just as addicting). "Defriended" is clearly Beck's attempt to create a pop song out of new non pop-parts: long without worry, evocative phrases without imagery, melodies without hooks. Now perhaps these things have been done by other artists, but for Beck, they are a different direction.

The song seems to me to be about destroying everything, or losing everything--but I mainly get that from the title, and the idea of "liquidate before you turn it all around." Liquidation is getting rid of everything, and when you lose those feelings finally, you can move forward. There's also an idea about someone escaping him, and giving up ("lay your arms down") which fit in. Also Karin shows up. The song is an abstract painting, but one that you can still get lost in.