Toronto-based troubadour Andy Shauf won plenty of hearts with last year’s glorious album The Neon Skyline, and today returns with a new single. “Spanish on the Beach” acts as a sort of sequel to the previous album, as Shauf explains:
“It’s the same theme as the story ended up being at the Skyline but the narrator’s life is a little bit booze-fueled. And this vacation is kind of like the first stop on the way to destruction.”
As ever, the detail of Shauf’s lyricism makes “Spanish on the Beach” a song that must be relistened to, and each time you do you’ll find another little line to chuckle at. He’s envisioning a couple at a resort, their relationship breaking down as she outclasses him with her language skills and he remains quietly sipping his drink in the background. As he continues to walk in her gorgeous shadow, he finds a kind of inner calm, perhaps alcohol-induced, that is wonderfully animated by subtle woodwinds over his meandering guitar. Eventually, his mind drifts into a reverie about possibly proposing while singing operatically with the resort’s house band – “it would be so mortifying – it makes me laugh.” Ultimately, “Spanish on the Beach” ends on a melancholy note, the couple departing their holiday; “boarded the plane and everything changed.” You get the feeling this might be the last trip they take together.