Beach Song


Singer, clarinet, trombone, piano, cello, double bass, percussion
5 – 6 minutes

About the piece

My band, Better Looking People With Superior Ideas, and I had a publicly quiet year. We wrote a good bit of new music, but with both of us being very busy with other projects, we didn’t play any concerts or release any of the new material.

When I got the opportunity to write for Wild Rumpus I thought it would be interesting to premiere a Better Looking People song in a format outside of the guitar/drums/electronics club-circuit we usually work in. This is pretty different from our version.

I wrote the lyrics back in 2012 after a dramatic end to a relationship. Thankfully enough time has passed that I feel okay about putting them out in the world, and I don’t think the “you” in question would mind.


The sound of water helped you sleep
At least that’s what you said to me
So I moved closer to the sea
And hoped that you’d come stay with me

I took a tape recorder down
To try and capture the sound
Transcribed that sound so I can sing
The sea to you wherever you’ll be

And when you sleep, maybe you’ll dream
Of all the places we’ve been (and haven’t been)
And then the distance won’t seem so far
I would be home wherever you are

We watched some aero planes take off
That’s one of my favorite memories
So I had to close my eyes
When your flight headed east to leave

You’re not an image from a screen
You’re not a ghost from a dream
You’re a real human being
And this love’s the real thing

But all I’ve got is a song
And your digital memory of the sea
I hope that they can carry me
To fly with you wherever you’ll be

Performance Notes

The singer should absolutely not go traditionally operatic on this. Be sensitive. Listen to some slow John K. Samson songs, Julia Holter, St. Vincent, Jodie Landua, Feist, and maybe even Astrud Gilberto, and you'll get it. The rhythm should not be strict.

Everyone else's rhythm, however, should be. Think of it as an expressive singer working with a super tight band.
The trombone and clarinet parts have jazz chart style notation. Improvise over the indicated chord for as long as the slashes last.

The percussionist may use a drum machine or trigger pads in place of the drum set part.



Singer, clarinet, trombone, piano, cello, double bass, percussion
5 – 6 minutes

Additional information

Physical or Digital?

Physical score, Digital score (PDF), Physical score & parts, Digital score & parts (PDFs)