“I want people to be able to close their eyes and be on the beach in the sun with the people they love, no matter where they are,” j solomon tells American Songwriter of the tune, a hazy, lo-fi cut that falls somewhere between the sonic worlds of M. Ward and Pity Party (Girls Club).
j solomon is a rising indie pop artist currently based in New York City, but he wrote and recorded “Beach Day 04” in his childhood home in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania.
“I was living back at my parents’ house in my childhood bedroom in the beginning months of quarantine, and I wanted to create a song that could take me to a place far away from there and hopefully do the same for others,” he says. “Kind of just playing around with the feeling of nostalgia.”
If the accompanying video feels like a Super 8 love letter to California, that’s because it is: “My girlfriend and I took a road trip up the California coast and brought an old Super 8 camera with us to document,” explains j solomon. “We sent the film to get developed, and when we got it back we loved the way it looked so much that we knew we needed to use it for something. I had been working on the final mixing of ‘Beach Day 04’ at the time and it was a perfect fit.”
“I write a lot in my head in the shower, and when I’m walking by myself or riding the subway. I’m always thinking of little catchy phrases with melodies and sometimes those blurbs get fleshed out into full songs.”
j solomon cites Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver, and Andy Shauf as three of the songwriters he most admires. “I find that their songwriting and ability to make people feel is superb,” he explains. “I wrote [‘Beach Day 04’] while listening to a lot of M. Ward. I think he’s great—I actually tracked down one of his old audio engineers to ask for tips on guitar recording.”
Though j solomon says he has too many favorite lyrics to count, a recent favorite comes from Runnner’s 2019 EP, Fan On. “Currently, I’m really into this song ‘Frame’ by Runnner,” he says. “There’s one line that goes, ‘I see my best friends every weekend / fucking reading all the time.’ I love how it’s so mundane, I love when songwriters are able to create a song that sounds like music and conversation at the same time.”
What are j solomon’s own ambitions as an artist? “Just to continue to do what I’m doing now, and to grow and evolve and be able to always be making the best music I can,” he says. “And also to pay for rent and food.”
“Beach Day 04” is out now.