Songwriting is hard enough as it is without people trying to complicate the process. Sometimes the best songs are the most simplistic and the most straightforward – the ones that just tell a simple and clear story that will cause feelings of nostalgia among the listeners.

Back in 2013, The Neighbourhood, the American alternative band were just starting to gather global attention. Having formed initially in 2011, the group composing of Jesse Rutherford (vocalists), Jeremy Freedman (guitar), Zach Abels (guitar), Mikey Margott (bass), and Brandon Alexander Fried (drummer), were started to garner a reputation for well crafted songs with strong instrumentation and incredible vocals. When the global breakthrough for the band came, all these attributes were on show, and this came with the release of Sweater Weather in 2013. A song that quickly came to symbolise the summer for many listeners.

This is a stunning example how simplicity is sometimes your greatest friend when trying to write a song that will draw listeners in. One of the greatest strengths around this song is the efforts the band go to ensuring that the vocals are at the very forefront of the listening experience. Jesse Rutherford is a truly mesmerising vocalist, with a voice that shows tremendous range of emotion from assertive to fragile, often in the space of a song. These abilities are showcased to their peak here as he paints a nostalgic picture of being in love when you’re younger.

The instrumentation throughout the track is subdued and uncomplicated, consisting of subtle guitar and an upbeat drum tempo. They help to keep the song moving, while also helping to create a nostalgic and atmospheric feel about the song. It is almost like everything that we’re listening to is set in another time or in the past, and this is helped by the almost echo-like effect that is put on the vocals.

The lyrics of the song help to create a story of a fantastic time of your life spent living life to the best as you share it with people who mean a lot to you. The lyrics bring back memories of when you’re in one of your first relationships, everything is exciting and interesting, and it seems as though you are floating as you’re ready to do anything for the other person.

“Coming down
One love, two mouths
One love, one house
No shirt, no blouse
Just us, you find out
Nothing that I wouldn’t wanna tell you about, no no

‘Cause it’s too cold whoa
For you here
And now
So let me hold whoa
Both your hands in the holes of my sweater”

Fantastic songwriting.

MK