Christian Beach, a longtime fixture of the New Jersey music scene, today released a new studio version of his song “Paper Ships” as a standalone single, which is available for streaming or download at ChristianBeach.net along with an accompanying music video.
“I wrote ‘Paper Ships’ after reading a short story by Anton Chekhov, but it was so long ago I don’t even recall which one it was,” said Beach. “I wanted to write in a style that resembled Bob Dylan’s ‘Blood on the Tracks,’ where the character in a song symbolizes various states of the human condition, including love, love lost, birth, regret, and finally mortality.
“There is a level of complexity in the lyrics that can be overwhelming, I think, kind of like a thick stew,” adds Beach. “It can be hard to reach the bottom of the thing, but that is also what I admire about some of my favorite songwriters.”
“Paper Ships” dates back to 2009 and has been performed by Beach numerous times over the years. A live version of the song from 2015 was included on Beach’s Basement Noise album released at the start of 2021.
“The live recording wasn’t ideal, but I wanted to have something on the album that celebrated live music and marked the time I had spent with my band,” said Beach. “It felt necessary during these times.”
Fellow New Jersey singer-songwriter Michael Scotto (Agency, Mind Your Manners), who played drums and provided backing vocals on the 2015 live version of “Paper Ships,” invited Beach to record a new version of the song at Asbury Park’s Lakehouse Recording Studios, where Scotto is a studio manager. Beach, Scotto and bassist Gorgo (Private Sector) recorded at Lakehouse, while guitarist John Pfeiffer (Well of Souls, In Between Dreams) and keyboardist Brian Kelley (Ferocious Designs) recorded their parts remotely.
It marked the first time that Beach’s backing band, together since 2007, recorded one of his songs as a group.
“It sounds crazy, but the only songs we had recorded together all these years were cover songs for various tribute albums,” said Beach. “This is the first time you can hear a studio version of one of my songs featuring my full, live band.”
It may not be the last time either, as Beach is hoping to get the band back to Lakehouse to record more songs for a potential EP, which would include “Paper Ships.”
“Hopefully, once everyone is vaccinated and it’s a little safer, we can all record together at Lakehouse later this year and produce a few more tracks there,” said Beach. “Until then, you can enjoy ‘Paper Ships’ as an appetizer.”
Christian Beach – lead vocals, acoustic and electric guitar
John Pfeiffer – lead guitar
Gorgo – bass, backing vocals
Michael Scotto – drums, percussion, electric guitar, backing vocals
Brian Kelley – keyboards
Produced by Michael Scotto; engineered, mixed and mastered by Nick Semanchik at Lakehouse Recording Studios, Asbury Park, N.J.
© 2021 Christian Beach. All rights reserved.