Unlovable by Beach Weather
19 Aug 2022
When I was a teen I pretended to play in many different bands. Or most of them were the same band on a different day. Most of my pretending was on guitar but I also pretended to be a lead singer. I do know how to play guitar and sing but I say pretending because none of us really knew what we were doing and you could sooner call us an all girl championship curling team than a band. One time we didn’t have a microphone but we discovered that a pair of headphones plugged in to the mic jack did the job. A pair of headphones obviously isn’t designed to be used in this way so it sounds distant and distorted and very cool. Is there a point to this story? I'de like to say yes but I guess you’ll find out at some point in the next five paragraphs.
This week, during my usual trawl trough the new releases I came across the new single, Unlovable, from pop rock project Beach Weather. Don't get confused with Beach House and then spend 20 minutes looking up Beach House's back catalogue and wonder why this single sounds so different. That would be a waste of your time. Beach Weather is in fact a project of American singer-songwriter Nick Santino who has been releasing music under various names since 2006. I was simply drawn to this single by the supernatural, glowing silhouettes on the cover art.
Unlovable opens with a wavy acoustic guitar, subtle retro sonar noises in the background and vocals sung through a pair of headphones plugged in to the mic jack (There it is!). The vocal melody doesn’t excite too much. The energy of the delivery reminds me a lot of Twenty One Pilots. That energy does increase with the chorus which comes in far sooner than you’d expect. I would have liked a longer verse or more drawn out structure. The chorus is brought in with stripped back music focused on the drums and sparing distorted guitar chords. In an unexpected turn a piano shows up at this point to provide a bouncy additional piece of rhythm. The post chorus centred around the repeated line ‘How did I get so damn unlovable’ is a much busier piece of music and I really like this step change from the intro.
One thing this song has got a plenty is defined sections and a very clear structure. At the two minute mark we are rewarded with what can only be described as a guitar solo! It might not be very long or interesting but it meets all the requirements. That then unfolds in to the vocal bridge which brings us back in to the song proper. I like this segmentation and it also sticks in your mind far more easily. There is no grand crescendo for this song. After the final chorus there is a very purposeful stop. I appreciate the ending though and avoidance of a fade out.
The production here is smart enough. The instrumentation is all identifiable and easy to follow but at the same time it’s surprisingly complex and the more you listen the more additional qualities you will pick out. Nick's voice has been treated well for this recording and is presented in a couple of subtly different ways in the verses, chorus and bridge. Sadly, the punchline I have been dancing around, is that I just don’t like the song that much. I cant speak for Beach Weather's entire catalogue, but based off this song alone I find the style to be a little too generic and just simply not offering me anything new or uncharted.
If you are already a fan of Beach Weather or Santino's other work then this single might be up your alley but I don’t think it is a single that is going to draw in swathes of new listeners. Now I have discovered Nick Santino's existence though I will listen to something else by him before closing the door for good. Fingers crossed. Unlovable is available on streaming platforms now so take a listen yourself and hopefully it’s your thing.