At some point in the last year you’ve probably came across or heard about the video sharing site ‘Tik Tok’ which means you’ve probably also came across British singer-songwriter Bea Kristi, aka Beabadoobee. The rising star hit major commercial success for the first time this year when a sample of her 2017 single ‘Coffee’ was used in Canadian rapper Powfu’s 2019 single ‘Death Bed’. The track sky-rocketed on the social media app ‘Tik Tok’ and peaked in the top 20 chart in 27 countries worldwide, bagging Bea her first platinum record in the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand. Soon after the success in the early Summer, Bea then announced her debut album ‘Fake It Flowers’ in July, under British independent label Dirty Hit. Dirty Hit are also responsible for other British indie artists such as Wolf Alice and The 1975, who Bea has worked with and supported on tour. The singer teased the album release by dropping singles ‘Care’, ‘Sorry’, ‘Worth It’, ‘How Was Your Day?’ and ‘Together’ over the Summer.
The new album is a departure from her lo-fi bedroom pop sound, seeing Bea progress as an artist, experimenting with a more 90’s palette on this album. Talking about the album, the twenty-year old said "Fake It Flowers is pretty much my whole life in one album". The album itself was recorded with Pete Robertson from The Vaccines, who also worked on her last project, 2019’s ‘Space Cadet’ EP. On the album's namesake she said "I recorded my demos on my phone and for some reason they all saved as 'Fake It Flowers', and I was like, 'Oh! That's a cool name!' So I figured I may as well just call the album that!”
The London singer-songwriter first fell in love with music when her father gave her a guitar and then taught herself to play from watching YouTube videos, as well as taking inspiration from rom-com’s and her parent’s love for 90’s alt rock. You can hear Bea channelling female icons such as Avril Lavigne and The Cranberries across many tracks on the new record. If this album had come out in 1994 it would be a super chart success. The theme across the new album is generally about the trials and tribulations of young love in the millennial world as well as finding her voice and discovering happiness.
The album opens with previously released tracks ‘Care’ and ‘Worth It’. The alt-rock bangers set the overall vibe of the album well and I feel as though I have been teleported back into the 90’s with their incredible grunge-esque sound. With the first two tracks being previous releases, it got the album off to a bit of an underwhelming start, but the tracks are amazing and do set the tone well non the less.
However, we are then met with new track ‘Dye It Red’ which is full of gritty lyricism from the off and one of the strongest tracks from the album as a whole. It has the same 90’s feel as the previous two tracks with that real similar vibe to Nirvana’s ‘Lithium’. This is where the new album starts to get really exciting for me!
Next up we have ‘Back To Mars’ which is the first acoustic track we hear on ‘Fake It Flowers’. The track is just over a minute long so sort of more acts as a break between two tracks as they sound rather similar. Saying this we have track ‘Charlie Brown’ which is an insane track and I knew right from the start for this one it was going to be the rock track. This one will have you head-banging like you never even knew you could. This is a track that is festival ready and can imagine it being up there with her best tracks live. It has that real early Foo Fighters vibe which Bea is absolutely smashing and this is definitely a sound I’d love to hear her experiment with further in the future as well.
‘Emo Song’ was probably the most surprising track for me on the album. I thought from the name it was going to be the rock track of the album rather than the prior single. It’s a really different track from the rest of the album however with its semi-acoustic tones and laid back vibe it is placed great on the album to slow things down a little, especially following such a heavy-hitting track.
The next two tracks ‘Sorry’ and ‘Further Away’ are the sorts of slower, emotional tracks you’d expect from the titles. They are emotional tracks that discuss the could have beens of love and discuss the whole relatable theme of ‘the one that got away’. The first track paces through a steady first half before the track explodes with heavy guitar and drums imploding the track into an absolute rock ballad, fuelled with raw emotion. The latter is just a really elegant semi-acoustic three minutes of pure raw emotion straight from the heart and is the slower track that is needed at this point.
Next up we have ‘Horen Sarrison’ which is a Cranberries-style ballad what sees Bea sink her teeth into the romance with her new Summer babe “I want you to know that I’m in love, but I don’t want you to feel comfortable,” offering that real confusion that is the reality of modern world dating and mixed signals. This is followed up with ‘How Was Your Day?’ which was a previous release but also following such slow songs kind of paces the album and interest right down. I do really love the lo-fi indie vibe on this track and it does really stand out well against previous titles so is a nice touch and revisit to Bea’s older work.
‘Together’ is the penultimate track from the album and probably my favourite. It is rather low down for such a strong track which others may miss if previous already released tracks made them turn off at this point. This track reminds me of the first few tracks of the album and if this had been placed further up it may have came across as rather repetitive. The grunge goddess vibe works for Bea incredibly well and it is a sound I hope she continues in the future. The last track is ‘Yoshimi, Forest, Magdalene’ and this is again has a bit of a lo-fi vibe but not to an extent as ‘How Was Your Day?’ was. It has that almost early demo sound to it which I really like and is very much that typical final track you would have. It really does pick up towards its last minute and has very Wolf Alice vibes to it which I am really digging too.
I think this whole album is strong from start to finish and Bea has really moulded the alternative music industry with this modern-grunge sound that has been dearly missed. The album gives other female rockers in the industry inspiration and hope for success. It’s an album that voices relatable emotions for myself and others as we explore modern love in a millennial world. I could not recommend this album enough to anyone.
Beabadoobee will embark on a headlining tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland to support the album in 2021. She will be playing Newcastle University SU on Saturday October 2nd 2021!
You can get tickets here: www.seetickets.com/tour/beabadoobee
Article By Rebecca Cook