Turn Away
By: Beck Hansen

Written by: Beck Hansen

  1. Turn Away (3:05)
    Available on Morning Phase.
    Beck Hansen: Bass, Dulcimer, Guitar (Acoustic), Producer, Vocals, Vocals (Background)
    David Campbell: Conductor
    Stephanie Bennett: Harp
    Ben Baptie: Mix
    Tom Elmhirst: Mix
Turn Away [Version (a)]:

Turn turn away
From the sound of your own voice
Calling no one
Just a silence
Learn to see around the edge
Follow the avalanche
Turn away

Hold hold the line
That fixes you in time
Keeps you under
Takes you over
The wall that love divides
Between waking and slumber
Turn away

Turn turn away
From the weight of your own words
It's a measure
For the devil
And betray the ache of change
Once you have spoken
Turn away
The Song:

"Turn Away" is one of the songs on Beck's 2014 album, Morning Phase.

The song is highlighted by Beck's numerous harmony vocals. He told NPR he began by trying to duet with himself, attempting to sound like The Louvin Brothers, Simon & Garfunkel, or other harmonizing duos. But in working to make the song as "rich as possible," he ended up with 5 or 6 tracks of his voice singing together. He also noted that it "took days" to get sounding right, as singing softly in a high register is pretty difficult.

Lyrically, I find this to be one of the more mysterious songs on Morning Phase. Not in a bad way, just that a lot of the album is fairly straightforward; "Turn Away" is more vague and intriguing. That said, there are a number of ideas in "Turn Away" which are typical Beck themes - communication, losing oneself, finding your way out of the darkness, feeling overwhelmed, isolated.

The first verse is fairly stark, finding someone trapped in an isolation. "Follow the avalanche," Beck tells this person. Beck also uses a landslide in "Waking Light" to symbolize this. Overwhelming instances of nature pop up throughout the album: landslides, avalanches, waves. How to survive?


Played live 7 times:
Earliest known live version: June 5, 2022
Latest known live version: June 21, 2022