Album Review | beabadoobee Breaks Out On Fake It Flowers
It’s been whirlwind few years for Beatrice Laus. The Filipino-born British songwriter has gone from quietly crafting her very literal brand of bedroom pop/rock—sharing it among friends and social media—to supporting tours with The 1975 and hearing her earliest composition explode on mainstream radio, topping the US Billboard rock chart, and clocking up over 4 billion streams in the month of March alone.
Prior to the success of Powfu’s memorable sample for ‘death bed’, beabadoobee was already building up something of a cult following with the release of four EPs for Dirty Hit between February 2018 and October 2019. Each of these EPs displayed the twenty year old’s natural gift for penning grungy, lo-fi guitar jams in the vein of self-professed idols like Pavement and Daniel Johnston. On Fake It Flowers, Laus retains the lo-fi sensibilities and grunge influence of her early work while stepping up production values and introducing a brighter, more polished aesthetic.
This sharp new sound opens proceedings with the fantastic combo of ‘Care’ and ‘Worth It’. Laus kicks off with her two most infectious singles to date, deftly blending her penchant for ’90s lo-fi throwbacks and slacker guitar work with the kind of anthemic singalong choruses that just beg for a live crowd. The playful, Pixies-eque mix of soft-loud dynamics is a twist used to perfection across the album’s best moments. ‘Charlie Brown’ and ‘Together’ also make for captivating single material, providing an exciting glimpse into what radio rock should sound like in the ’20s. These kind of undeniable earworms are plentiful on Fake It Flowers and will stay in your head long after initial listens.
Admittedly, Laus is developing as a songwriter and there are some niggling signs that she is still most comfortable on short-form releases, with the likes of ‘Back to Mars’ and ‘Further Away’ pushing filler territory. Perhaps the inclusion of this lighter fare is down to fattening up Fake It Flowers for a full-length release. However, you feel this kind of harmless fodder will drop off when Laus finds more consistency on future releases and her natural talent evolves.
Overall, Fake It Flowers is a more than solid first full step into the mainstream for this young artist. The enormous breakout potential is plain to hear on these twelve tracks. What’s even more exciting is the knowledge that Laus is still very much growing, and some way off her final form. Fake It Flowers sounds like a learning process in some parts, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun along the way.
Laus joked in a recent interview about wanting to change her name after breaking out, quipping that she was jealous of bands like Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr.:
“such cool names, look great on a T-shirt… And I’m fucking beabadoobee.”
Yet the fact that we’re still calling her by a throwaway Instagram moniker is perfectly fitting for the sound of these hazy stoner tales from the millennial teenage experience. If the promise of Fake It Flowers is anything to go by, then Laus won’t be wishing she was Stephen Malkmus for much longer. This is the sound of a fresh young rockstar blazing herself a trail—and who would want her to change a thing? She’s fucking beabadoobee.