Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Beabadoobee invites listeners into her imaginary world with new album ‘Beatopia’

Beatrice Laus, known professionally as beabadoobee, is a Filipino-British indie pop singer-songwriter. Growing up in West London, the 22-year-old was heavily inspired by Karen O's Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the beloved ‘Juno' soundtrack to start making music in her teens. 

The singer released her first single ‘Coffee’ in 2017, uploading the video to YouTube herself where it quickly gained 300,000 views and the attention of Dirty Hit records. 

Over the next couple of years, she released a series of EPs, a debut album in 2020, and was opening on tours for The 1975 and Clairo. 


The indie pop star recently released her second album ‘Beatopia’, and with it, she has jumped on the nostalgia train. In promoting the album, Beabadobee described it as “Sounding very 2006”. In an interview with Alt Press she said “It’s a lot of different vibes, there’s not one song that sounds the same as the others”, and continued to call it a different world. 


The name of the album comes from a make-believe dream world the singer invented as a child. Now she’s revisiting her past not only for inspiration but for an audience, a new generation who need comfort, believing that they don’t belong and need to hear that everything is going to be okay. 


While the album opens with a track titled ‘Beatopia Cultsong’, there are no “let’s drink the kool-aid” undertones or vibe to it at all. The music, seemingly aesthetically inspired by Scott Pilgrim's Ramona Flowers, creates its own world, however. There’s a warm sonic bath full of blurry guitars, muffled drum machines and sleepily murmured hooks paired with the singer's comforting vocals. However, there are sharp edges in that pleasant murk, and they don’t always show up when you’re expecting them. On ‘10:36’ there is bold realism about romantic relationships and a fear of letting someone down. The poppy guitar solo felt like a total time machine to 2006 as well.  


Since this is based on the imaginary world invented by a child, the realism is paired with plenty of lyrical escapism. ‘Sunshine’ and the popular single ‘See You Soon’ are all about relatable escapism; just needing a break from the world, and the tracks deliver that message in a romantic tone assuring listeners that it’s okay to take a break. Her voice and her tunes have always been rather comforting and soft, but this album is a bit more ambitious. With the help of a new co-producer, Matty Healy of The 1975, they nudge things in different directions. With its rickety drum-loop beat and its synthy power-pop hooks, the textures are subtle but impeccable. 


The album feels like a journey through ageing out of your teens, through growing pains, through love and loss and unhealthy habits all within the walls of a safe world around you. These take the center stage on the album’s single ‘Talk’, with Laus stating that the track is “About doing things that aren’t necessarily healthy or great for you, but you can’t help indulging. It’s like that unavoidable feeling that you get. You can’t get rid of it, and you know it’s bad, but you love it really, and it's whatever, so you do it anyway.” 


The album located in Beabadoobee’s world has an ever-present essence. Bea sees it now as a feeling, something that sparks joy and comfort, but is still a release that she hopes fans can lose themselves in as much as she lost herself in the fantasy world she had created as a child. At its core, Beatopia is Beatrice Kristi Laus in her purest form. 


Hope Orr


Image: Official ‘Beatopia’ Album Cover

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