Derek Helm’s Heart Has Gone To The Sea

The Florida native laments lost love with a breezy slice of Beach Boys-style pop.


Derek Helm watches romance sail off into the sunset on his new single and video Gone To The Sea — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

Set against a backdrop of surf sounds, spry ukulele and some very smooth saxophone, the breezy, beachy single tells the wistful story of taking beachside vacations with a lover — only for that love to have slipped away. With its easy beats, languid pace, and seamless harmonies, there’s a Kokomo-era Beach Boys vibe to the song — but in reality, Bruce Springsteen’s Hungry Heart originally served as inspiration. Helm and his band had wanted to record a cover of The Boss’s 1980 hit, though they never ended up getting around to it. “But I had already come up with some of the music and arrangement for it, and using that as the foundation, I started to write the lyrics to Gone To The Sea over the music,” Helm shares. “So, thank you, Bruce!”

Gone To The Sea isn’t based on Helm’s personal experience, but rather on memories of beach vacations with his then-girlfriend (and now-wife), when they would drink margaritas and sing karaoke. “The song Is mostly rooted in fond memories despite its lost-love story,” he says. The oceanic vibe is a natural offshoot of Helm’s usual songwriting process. “Often when I’m writing, depending on the song, I’m imagining an alternate tropical, magical, enchanted world. I think it’s sort of an extension of how I romanticize Florida a little bit — more specifically South Florida. This was the case for Gone To The Sea.”

The song features Helm on lead vocals and acoustic guitar; Sam King on drums and backing vocals; Adam Haupt on bass and saxophone; Easton Summas on electric guitar; and Jesse Gelndinning on ukulele and backing vocals. Helm was born in Miami and grew up in Jupiter, Fla. After college, he worked as a touring sound engineer and hired musician based out of Pennsylvania. He would listen to Jimmy Buffett as a warm remedy for being homesick. After moving back to Florida, he formed a band with his best friend from first grade, and built a studio and rehearsal space.

Watch Gone To The Sea above, listen to the track below, and follow Derek Helm on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.