sun 25/02/2024

Album: Beabadoobee - Beatopia | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Beabadoobee - Beatopia

Album: Beabadoobee - Beatopia

Woozy bedroom indie-space-pop from the Taylor Swift-endorsed UK singer

This cover art does, literally, look like the music sounds

Many of her fans initially came across Filipino-born, London-raised singer Bea Laus – Beabadoobee – via the massive TikTok sensation “Death Bed (Coffee for Your Head)” by Canadian producer Powfu, which was centred on the extremely catchy chorus to her song “Coffee”.

But Laus, now 22, has been releasing music since she was 17, and her debut album Fake It Flowers, hit the UK Top 10 in 2020. Beatopia moves things forward sonically. Its sound is more interesting, hazy and stoned, but the songs don’t always match its ambitions.

Where Fake It Flowers trod a path somewhere between Avril Lavigne pop-punk and lighter, acoustic pieces, Beatopia, inspired by Laus reclaiming her once-mocked imaginary childhood fantasyland, comes on more like Let’s Eat Grandma filtered through the gauzy shoegaze of Slowdive and those bands who were termed “chillwave” a decade-and-a-bit ago (Neon Indian, Washed Out etc). The opener, “Beatopia Cultsong” typifies this side of things, sweet, chilled bongo-led noodle that was apparently recorded late at night with friends, under the influence.

But there is also potential here. Laus and her creative partner/guitarist Jacob Bugden are exploring. For every cute sliver of indie-psyche fluff such as “See You Soon” or, er, “Fairy Song”, there are numbers such as the Breeders-ish rockin’ of “Talk”, the lush sunny bedroom-produced bossa nova love-life contemplation “The Perfect Pair”, and, best of all, closer “You’re Here That’s the Thing”, a gorgeous and tuneful piece of whimsy that comes on like a Mo Tucker-sung Velvet Underground song,

Like Lily Allen, Beabadoobee combines a sugary sweet voice with lyrics that sometimes have a pinch of pepper to them, as in the likeable sketch-of-a-song “Broken CD”, but there’s a sense on Beatopia that the floaty, lazily narcotised, gossamer lightness needs musical counterbalance. Nonetheless, as a summery waft, there’s woozy interest here, as well as the occasional song that actually sticks.

Below: watch the video for "Talk" by Beabadoobee

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