Beabadoobee’s debut, ‘Fake It Flowers’, delivered bedroom pop in every sense. Beginning life as demos saved to a phone, its release fell towards the end of 2020 and offered a brooding, grunge-infused soundtrack to those confined by the same four walls. It was an insular listen, primarily the work of an individual, and one that wasn’t afraid to wear its ‘90s influences on its sleeve. It harked back to baggy jeans and walls covered in posters of floppy-haired heroes.
‘Beatopia’, despite being named after a universe first imagined by Bea at seven years old, is conversely very much rooted in the here and now. It’s a representation of who the West London singer has become, now breaching singularity to work alongside the likes of bandmate Jacob Bugden, Matty Healy and George Daniel of labelmates The 1975, and Georgia Ellery of Black Country, New Road. The latter’s strings permeate the record, testament to Bea’s growing confidence and expanding her sound way beyond the lo-fi confines of earlier work.
‘Beatopia’ shows growth without risking losing the charm that has made Bea a firm favourite. The odd moment of musical nostalgia, such as the stunning midwestern emo on Matty Healy collaboration ‘Picture Of Us’, is far from contrived or forced, sitting against the beauty of the rousing ‘See You Soon’, itself an ode to a therapeutic mushroom trip. It’s in these moments that Bea’s personality shines, clearer and more authentic than before. If the land of ‘Beatopia’ was conceived in the isolated mind of seven-year-old Bea, it’s a far better world for letting others in.
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