Finally the soft grunge aesthetic has an artist to claim their own!
Beabadoobee’s songs have always been cute and fun with a little rock twist – ‘She Plays Bass’ has been a firm favourite for a while- but once I discovered her, knowing that she only had a few songs out seemed like a crime. She had her basic beginning that showed she had promise but there was no real statement from her that expressed what time, growth and nurturing could do. That is why I was incredibly excited to get my hands on Fake It Flowers earlier this week.
So what did I think?
Fake It Flowers paints images of lying on woven carpets with huge tilted posters on the wall in your bedroom, yearning about that guy you like but also empowering yourself by cutting chunks of your hair off. This album uses drums in a really great way, using them to bring the power, energy and emphasis without overpowering the soft vocals. Musically I am reminded of the iconic 90s band Letters To Cleo and I’m excited that she took a taste of that band whilst also exploring further musical boundaries and adding dynamic moments of expression.
The album takes no chances, starting off with possibly its pinnacle track, lead single ‘Care’. Inciting shivers with moments like “I guess I’ve had it rough”, the song immediately sticks, and whilst a lot of the other songs are great, ‘Care’ is possibly the most perfectly executed.
Track 4, ‘Back To Mars’ feels a sensitive yearning question where you can hear the shaky breaths of Beabadoobe, slowly helping to create the feeling of intimacy and safety that wraps you as you listen to the album. You hear every breath she takes in and for once you feel vulnerable emotions in her voice, something that’s quite rare to find in modern bedroom indie pop. In contrast, ‘Charlie Brown’ comes in slowly but takes your ears by storm. The shock and excitement for the more fast paced, bass lead groove brought back the energy to an album that was coasting on its loveliness.
Fake It Flowers is possibly the most coherent album I’ve heard in quite some time, which gives it a comforting feel. I can see the songs growing on me to the point where I choose to play the album in full lying around when I’m alone.
That being said, for a lot of the album I found myself saying “oh this is an interlude” more times than there probably were interludes. In the seventh track, Sorry, I was hoping for a little bit of passionate belting whilst the guitar went crazy under her “I’m Sorry”s but I didn’t get it. It wasn’t exactly emotional blue balls but I felt like if she briefly relinquished her soft voice over the harsher music for just one moment it could have been the pinnacle of the album. We know that it was possible, the power of the final track proved this.
Overall Fake It Flowers is a strong debut album from Beabadoobee with many standout moments. And while shows may not be a possibility yet, I can’t wait to see where this takes her next.
Fake It Flowers is released this Friday via Dirty Hit and is available to pre-order now.