Beabadoobee, also known as Bea Kristi, gained momentum earlier this year when her song ‘Coffee’ was sampled in rap track ‘Death Bed’, a track that circulated on TikTok and became a staple lockdown song. This was the perfect timing for the London singer to grace us with her debut album, Fake it Flowers, released via Dirty Hit, a label who supply frequent indie classics such as The 1975 and Wolf Alice.
Fake it Flowers is full of soft vocals and 90s alt-rock vibes, like it was pulled straight from a Y2K coming-of-age film soundtrack. The opening trio, ‘Care’, ‘Worth It’ and ‘Dye It Red’ are the most similar to Kristi’s EP’s; soft vocals and plucky guitar riffs, yet more polished than her previous work. However, some of the tracks take a heavier, more 90s rock approach; ‘Sorry’ could easily have been borrowed from a Smashing Pumpkins album.
Kristi is inspired by outer space in tracks ‘Back to Mars’ and ‘Horen Sarrison’ which expand on the intergalactic theme present in her previous singles ‘Space Cadet’ and ‘The Moon Song’. The album also centres around heavier subjects such as mental health and childhood trauma, such as on “Care” which elaborates on the sore subject of overcoming trauma in its angsty lyrics: “I don’t want your sympathy, stop saying that you give a shit”. ‘Charlie Brown’ is a self-harm confession which opens with admitting “I’m back on old habits” over a grungy beat, all before the repeated wails of “throw it away” in the track’s punchy chorus.
The vulnerability Kristi feels also trickles through in the the lyrics to ‘Yoshimi, Forest, Magdalene’, a track aptly named after Kristi’s future children, which sees the singer open up about relationships: “I’m scared he’s gonna leave me / Cause when I’m mad, I get pretty scary”. As the soft, exposed track edges into its bridge, it is reminiscent of Wolf Alice with heavier drums, cymbal crashes and screaming vocals.
Overall, Fake it Flowers is a soft and sincere indie record, with openly personal lyrics that cut to the heart of our damaged psyches – a polished version of her earlier EP’s and a great debut album.
Image: Dirty Hit Records