Beabadoobee – Fake it Flowers
They say write about what you know and Beabadoobee certainly does that, mining her teenage years for a debut album full of pithy powerpop tunes speaking directly to Gen-Z.
Now 20, Filipino born Beatrice Laus– aka Beabadoobee –was the classic indie kid outsider at her West London school before being kicked out. Her dad came to her rescue with a guitar and the first song she ever wrote, Coffee, scored over 300,000 views on YouTube before being sampled by Canadian rapper Powfu on his 2019 hit single Death Bed (Coffee For Your Head)
So it shouldn’t be surprising that Beabadoobee’s odd name is her Instagram handle as she is a viral icon turned wannabe pop star. Unlike loathsome talent vacuums The Kardashians at least Beabadoobee is more than just a style icon for her followers, with a strong voice and an ear for a catchy hook.
Care sets the scene perfectly capturing all the angst and heightened drama of teen love as Beabadoobee muses “Maybe it’s time to cut off the ring” over a wall of guitars. Dye It Red is more medium paced as she launches a familiar anguished plea heard by any parent of a teenager to dye her hair.
The acoustic comes out on the short Back To Mars where she considers the enteral teen question of what happens when friends suddenly realise they fancy each other, and the price that may have to be paid if they step over that line.
Beabadoobee is no poet laureate lyrically, but she might be the Joni Mitchell of the digital age as her words do sometimes feel like a short Instagram chat set to music.
The Emo Song does what it says on the tin and the relentless chiming guitars are toned down with strings on Sorry. Further Apart is a more reflective affair as Beabadoobee looks back on being with a daft boy: “Say what you want/it’s hard cos it sucks/I’ll just pretend to give a fuck.” Not exactly poetry but at least it feels real
As is the more delicate How Was Your Day? as she distills the exquisite pain of first love in a few well-chosen lines: ‘I miss getting angry at you/cos I at least felt something.’
In a perverse way like Dylan before her this assured and polished debut does position Beabadoobee as the voice of a generation, albeit it one with a shorter attention span.
The really interesting thing will be that tricky second album when Beabadoobee will have to mine another seam of experience for her tunes like the huge success 2021 is likely to bring her.
Words by Paul Clarke, you can see his author profile here.