Today’s Song: A Sun-Adorned Look into Broken Love on Andy Shauf’s “Spanish on the Beach”

Andy Shauf © Colin Medley
Andy Shauf © Colin Medley
“Spanish On The Beach” is a playful blend of charming guitar and woodwind melodies that hide a more sinister story, Andy Shauf capturing the attention of audiences with his signature lyrical prowess.
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Listen: “Spanish On The Beach” – Andy Shauf

Andy Shauf is an oxymoron of sorts: a voice so dulcet and calm delivering some of the most turbulent and devasting stories out there. His affinity for storytelling is at the core of Shauf, each of his songs a new and enthralling tale that takes listeners through the lives of the characters he creates. “Spanish On The Beach” revisits one such character – one such relationship – with an alluring sonic flair. Fans have come to know her as Jenny.

You spoke in Spanish on the beach
I tried to make up my mind
Whether I could understand a word you said
You took my hand and we walked out
I forgot to lock the door
You stood waiting in a long, dark dress
Spanish On The Beach - Andy Shauf
Spanish On The Beach – Andy Shauf

Tender finger plucks so joined by Shauf’s whispered vocals meet listeners with what sounds like a cozy jaunt down memory lane. All is well still, the track a dive into moments of love, maybe influenced by a drink or two. With the first chorus, Shauf croons “I wish it could be permanent” in what seems like a forlorn tone, but more so at their time in paradise coming to end rather than the unraveling of a relationship. It’s these aspects that make Shauf’s storytelling captivating – the visceral details of the surroundings, the step-by-step actions of the protagonists, and the slow descent into heartache. Many of his stories begin innocently enough, Shauf’s whimsical charm aiding in this feeling, but like “Spanish On The Beach,” listeners soon see the cracks.

I wondered what you would have done
If I had bought the ring
And decided to go down on one knee
And in an operatic voice
I would start singing with the band
It would be so mortifying
It makes me laugh

The percussion in the foreground adds another layer of sunniness, and as the second chorus, with the enticing harmonies of that signature clarinet, nears its end, tragedy occurs. Thoughts of “what if,” regrets, and realizations of a relationship no more – it all comes crashing down. The soundtrack to loss is never a somber sound for Shauf. Instead, listeners embrace it with a smile and drink in hand; a tranquil melody that soothes rather than disrupts. Such is life at times: mountains of hurt even at life’s most scenic moments. His final words, “Boarded the plane and everything changed,” linger in the mind. Those recollections of love and lust are now far-off memories, ending the story with gorgeous harmonies, closing the window into this life. For now.

On the last day, we were there
You said you wished we could stay
Boarded the plane and everything changed

A mastery of lyricism and delivery scratches the surface of Shauf’s musicality. Each track, each album, provides listeners with something wholly unique in the form of adventures of the heart, soul, or the inner thoughts of an unlucky party goer. “Spanish On The Beach” is no different. Its steady pace and delightful instrumentation catch fans off guard, aiding in making this one of the year’s best singles.

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Listen: “Spanish On The Beach” – Andy Shauf

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