The pair will release 18 on July 15, containing 11 cover versions along with two tracks written by Depp. The official video for one of those, This Is A Song For Miss Hedy Lamarr, has just been released. The covers include track by John Lennon, the Beach Boys, the Everley Brothers and Killing Joke, amongst others.
The new song could reference Depp's experiences as an actor, including the negative aspects of fame and fortune which have famously dogged him in recent years. ”This is a song for Miss Hedy Lamarr / Erased by the same world that made her a star,” he sings. ”It's so hard to talk when no one will hear / And everyone stares as you quiver and fear / It's shameful, shameless, painful, painless... I don't believe in humans anymore.”
Hedy Lamarr was an Austrian-born actress and inventor, who rose to fame in the 1930s and 40s and invented missile guidance technology during World War II. The technology is used in Bluetooth and GPS systems today. In her later years, Lamarr was arrested for shoplifting and went into seclusion.
Beck and Depp met in 2016 and almost immediately felt like kindred spirits, and started work on the record three years later. “When Johnny and I started playing together, it really ignited our youthful spirit and creativity,” Beck said. “We would joke about how we felt 18 again, so that just became the album title too.”
He added: “It’s an extraordinary honor to play and write music with Jeff, one of the true greats and someone I am now privileged enough to call my brother. I haven’t had another creative partner like him for ages. He was a major force on this record. I just hope people will take him seriously as a musician because it’s a hard thing for some people to accept that Johnny Depp can sing rock and roll.”
Depp has been making guest appearances on Beck’s current European tour, which runs until July 25.
The actor recently won his defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard, who was found to have defamed Depp with actual malice after a trial in the US that ended this month. The verdict – which Heard may appeal – came after Depp lost a 2020 libel case against the Sun newspaper for calling him a “wife beater” in a headline.
Here's the 18 track list:
1. Midnight Walker (Davy Spillane cover)
2. Death And Resurrection Show (Killing Joke cover)
3. Time (Dennis Wilson cover)
4. Sad Motherfuckin’ Parade (Johnny Depp original)
5. Don’t Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder) (Beach Boys cover)
6. This Is A Song For Miss Hedy Lamarr (Johnny Depp original)
7. Caroline, No (Beach Boys cover)
8. Ooo Baby Baby (The Miracles cover)
9. What’s Going On (Marvin Gaye cover)
10. Venus In Furs (The Velvet Underground cover)
11. Let It Be Me (The Everly Brothers cover)
12. Stars (Janis Ian cover)
13. Isolation (John Lennon cover)