dogbeach - "Shame" ft Livi Hepler
Thanks to OTT platforms, the indie rock music genre is finding more takers among audiences. The reason is simple – the listener recognizes its emphasis on individuality and authenticity, and that the genre rejects many, if not all, the conventions of mainstream rock music. There is a certain ‘rebel-with-a-cause’ element that’s perpetually associated with the genre that draws the listener almost instantly.
All the above traits plus a few more are part of New Jersey-based Bob Maschio’s (who goes by dogbeach) newest single, titled ‘Shame.’ Themed upon the notion of finding one’s true self, ‘Shame’ is a 3-note song performed in the alternative/indie rock genre, with Maschio taking on the responsibilities of writing, producing, and recording himself.
Upon hitting the play button, the song wastes no time immediately establishing the central theme and verse, with the lead vocals peppily doubled by the muted electric guitars. Indeed, the guitars do possess a quality reminiscent of Hillsong’s worship music that actually complements the lyrical themes very well while injecting a sprightly sense of sarcasm and introspection into the proceedings.
The lyrical themes themselves are written with a typically straightforward approach that has, over the years, come to signify the genre so well. And it works here too. Plus, the lyrical transition from the introspectively written verse (‘I’m trying to find me’) to the sprightly sarcasm-infused chorus (‘Shame on me for being me’) is one of the more unique traits of the number, aided superbly by the arrangement and the creative decision of resorting to the 3-note song form.
Given the theme and genre, Maschio rightly avoids taking the sentimental-sounding approach, which otherwise might have given the song an unwanted sprinkle of corniness. And Livi Hepler’s cameo in the second verse is yet another huge plus. Her vocals do not, in any way, let down the signature blunt energy that the song has from start to finish.
Maschio’s vocals do a great job of establishing that blunt energy to go aptly with the theme. Keeping the vocal range of the topline limited is yet another creative decision that is part of maintaining that nonchalant attitude throughout the song that re-emphasizes the aforementioned ‘rebel-with-a-cause’ attitude.
Written in the key of A major and recorded at a reasonably upbeat pace, ‘Shame’ is undoubtedly a 3-minute 16-second-long accomplishment that Maschio ought to be proud of, even more so given he has taken on the essential duties of writing and producing himself. And he has managed to churn out a nonchalant-sounding masterpiece – which showcases his individuality and authenticity – to treat the listener with.
dogbeach is a project from Bob Maschio in New Jersey. Everything is written, produced, and recorded by one person (except for Livi's vocals in Shame). There is no real genre focus, it is whatever you perceive it to be.