Updated: Jul 8, 2021
The 21-year-old singer has released her new EP Our Extended Play and it's a super fun piece of indie-pop. Here's how it makes up for her debut's flaws.
I'm not going to lie to you, writing about beabadoobee is an absolute nightmare. Not because she isn't talented, it's just her stage name doesn't half give you the fear when trying to write it out. Even reading the name out loud needs to be done in extreme slow motion for fear of mistake. Don't tell me it's just me?!
Thankfully, 20-year-old singer Beatrice Laus is worth writing about and she's proved it again this summer with the release of her new EP Our Extended Play.
Last year was a pretty big one for the Filippino-British bedroom pop star. Beabadoobee was featured on BBC's Sound of 2020 list, won the Radar Award at the 2020 NME Awards and was sampled on Powfu's global hip-hop hit 'death bed (coffee for your head)', a track which blew up thanks in large part to social media platform Tik-Tok (over a billion Spotify streams to date...).
She followed this up in October with the release of her debut album Fake It Flowers, which happened to be an album I enjoyed, but not one I've felt compelled to revisit since. The flaws were simple, though not too overwhelming. By the end it felt repetitive and, with a similar feel throughout, it could definitely have benefit from having a couple of tracks shaved off.
The tunes had angsty, bubblegum choruses and a lo-fi 90s indie rock sound. In a similar vein to Soccer Mommy's brilliant 2020 second album color theory, if you closed your eyes you could just imagine it soundtracking many a teenage rom-com of that era! This is funny as Bea didn't even live one minute of the 90s (she was born in 2000), yet is still very much inspired by that time.
Less than a year later and beabadoobee is back again with a new four-track EP. It sees her team up with The 1975 singer Matt Healy and drummer George Daniel for a pretty darn enjoyable 13 minute listen.
That the two camps should work together is no surprise. Beabadoobee signed to the band's Dirty Hit label in 2017 and supported them last year on their most recent tour. As a result, she's taken on elements of The 1975's sound. It might be easy to be cynical at this point but this is a collaboration that just works, offering a freshness that was perhaps lacking by the end of her debut.
Opening track 'Last Day on Earth' is a sugary indie-pop delight, definitely one of the most infectious songs I've heard this year! Before knowing about the collaboration, The 1975 influence was the first thing that sprung to mind, though as someone lukewarm to the Manchester band, Bea's vocals do it more justice than Matt ever could (sorry fans of The 1975...). It's super fun and even the chorus provides a carefree "shoop-doo, shoop-doobie-doobie-doo", before she confesses to forgetting what the message of the song actually is. It doesn't matter when you've got hooks this good.
'Cologne' follows a more conventional 00s noughties indie sound, whilst 'Animal Noises' brings together strings and alt-country for a tale of romantic longing. The chorus "I missing the mornings I spent making animals noises with you" might touch on the cringe side, but it's let off the hook by the grand production. There are definite echoes of The 1975's 'Playing On My Mind' and 'Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America' from their eclectic 2020 album Notes On A Conditional Form.
It finishes on the dreamy jangle pop of 'He Gets Me So High' and you're left feeling like you're living through a 90s teenage rom-com, a common theme in bea's work, but one that has a certain infectious fun-ness.
A perfect end to a brilliant effort from the Filipino-British singer-songwriter who is establishing herself as one of the brightest names in the British music scene.
The collaboration brings together the best elements of both artists and provides us with an excellent stopgap until her next album.
So, while her debut Fake It Flowers revealed her potential, it ultimately ran out of steam. This four-track EP shows us why she has plenty more in the locker, exploring different styles and variety even if she's getting by with a little help from The 1975.
I can't wait to hear what direction she'll take next.
Rating - 8/10