By Adam Laver
Label: Dirty Hit
Beabadoobee often gets labelled as a Bedroom Pop artist, which seems slightly unjust. Her debut album, ‘Fake It Flowers’, offers so much more than lo-fi jazz chords and a midi drumbeat. She introduces the record with the lead single, ‘Care’, which begins with a soft start before Beabadoobee transitions into a powerful pop-punk inspired chorus as says – “you don’t really care” – to her expected listener. The elements of ‘90s music are replicated throughout the record, as she channels Avril Lavinge in her vocal delivery. There are even hints of Nirvana in ‘Dye It Red’, as the chorus-driven guitar has an essence of Seattle band’s unmistakable sound.
A highlight of the album is ‘Charlie Brown’; a powerful song that will catch listeners by surprise, as she adopts a gristliness to her voice as she screams – “throw it away” – in the chorus.
The Dirty Hit artist carries elements from the label’s poster boys, The 1975, especially in the array of glistening samples and the constant switching of genres. She shifts from a grunge sound in the latter half of ‘Sorry’ to a soft and reflective piece in ‘Further Away’.
The constant theme throughout the record is the melancholic and direct lyrics, as Beabadoobee seems to be addressing someone in a confrontational manner in many of the songs. ‘Horen Sarrison’ begins with the lyrics – “You are the smell of pavement after the rain; you are the last empty seat on a train and I’m convinced you’re from outer space”. Blended with an added string section, which is reminiscent of less anguished version of Radiohead‘s ‘Burn the Witch’, Beabadoobee tells her audience that she’s lovestruck. From this moment, any distress that was in Beabadoobee voice is removed. The final three tracks seem to connote a more positive feeling, even if there are chaotic moments in the final track, ‘Yoshimi’, ‘Forest’, ‘Magdalene’.
Overall, ‘Fake It Flowers’ inhabits emotional outbursts in her lyricism and instrumentation. Perhaps Beabadoobee was a bedroom-pop artist, but she is much more than that now.