Los Angeles-based BEVERLEE is the project of singer/songwriter and producer Abby Diamond, a creator of queer-centric pop like her latest single “I am a Window.” It is the first piece of new music she’s released since her debut Purple Violin, an album that paved the way for her idiosyncratic and unabashedly honest brand of pop. Now Diamond is back with another off-kilter melody that juggles her newfound and hardwon pride over her queerness with a stumbling step forward.
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At its core, “I am a Window” is a song as much about radiating this self-acceptance as it is about shining a light on the complicated mess that life really is. Questions of how to navigate the world emerge through, revealing that even as someone comfortable in their own shoes it’s far from a cakewalk. Against the song’s choppy melody and stuttering rhythms are the layered coos and calls of Diamond’s ecstatic vocals. Woven in between her cries is her beaming lyricism, which at first struggles for external validation before recognizing that it all starts with herself. “I am a window, I let the light in,” she croons luminously.
The music video for “I am a Window,” directed by Chris Guerrero, was envisioned as a lesbian “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and stars Diamond alongside queer Latinx actor Stef Estep-Gozalo (also the music video’s producer). In that spirit, the video captures a variety of intimate memories between the film’s couple that serve as an attempt to preserve them before they’re lost forever.
As each moment flashes before us it’s interceded by shots of Diamond singing on a beautiful seaside, bathed by golden light from sunset and standing in front of a lonely window frame. Yet by the end of the video, all that’s left on the shore is a few pieces of flotsam and jetsam left over from their time together, adding to the song’s already heartwrenching understanding of how much nostalgia plays a part in our perception of past relationships.
Diamond created BEVERLEE out of a moment of personal reckoning after she came out in 2017. After moving to Los Angeles, she started writing her own songs and chose the moniker she has today as an act of remembrance for her cousin Beverlee Jacobson, who died October 18, 1970, when she was murdered by her abusive Hell’s Angel’s boyfriend. Her move to the west coast coincided with a desire to find out more about her cousin’s life and the tragic circumstances surrounding her death, as well as the resounding trauma it caused in her family. Diamond was struck by both the cruelty of the incident and the sexist indifference her cousin was regarded with by articles at the time. To her, it became the perfect rallying name for her debut album, especially as an ode to the LGBT community and all others whose lives are defined as being outside some arbitrary norm.
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Words: Steven Ward
Watch the music video for “I am a Window” the new single from BEVERLEE below!