Since bursting onto the scene in 2017, Bea Laus, professionally known as Beabadoobee, has been an authoritative musical voice that has only grown in confidence and volume. Whilst building her dedicated Gen-Z fanbase with her flawless output of confessional bedroom pop songs, Laus is untethered by genre or expectation. By blending the sonics of her tragic heroes with a distinct pop sensibility, the London-based singer-songwriter takes her cues from the off-kilter indie guitars of a quarter-century ago and has managed to pull off what many artists twice her age seem incapable of – a sound that feels nostalgic yet forward-thinking whilst gently morphing from experimental two-chord ballads to all-out guitar anthems.
The thrilling experimentation that defines her second full-length record is described as the “logical next step” for Laus as she cordially invites everyone into her world. Through an intense collaboration and journey of personal healing, ‘Beatopia’ was born as a testament to the wonders that self-acceptance and loving the people around you can conjure. The sonic changeups are counterbalanced by its visuals and the fruits of her freedom range between the classic stylings of bossa nova and midwest emo. The unconventional vocal stylings, distinct guitar riffs and arpeggiated melodies draw on the indie rock approach that Laus is best known for and all shakes out to feel like her most cohesive and impressive work to date.
Recalling her acoustic origins, ‘Beatopia Cultsong’ is a kaleidoscopic flurry of strings paired with simple acoustic guitar riffs and whispers that opens the record up in the most calming way whilst ‘Lovesong’ is elevated with stirring violins and gently spaced out piano twinkles that echo the sound of rain. The intimate confessional tones mixed with her honey-glazed voice hail back to the psychological experiences that created this record and both tracks, melodically, create the softest sounding soundscapes.
Already released track, ‘See You Soon’ finds Beabadoobee extracting the simplicity of the messages received from a good shroom experience and attaches them to rousing rock stylings whilst ‘Ripples’ attempts to find a balance between self-reliance and depending on other people. The rattling power-pop tracks finds her more comfortable with the hard truths of life and it’s impossible to not feel uplifted by the sugar-coated life lessons.
In resurrecting the inner life that was once used to shame her, ‘Beatopia’ finds Beabadoobee finally being able to let people in more than ever. The beautifully crafted fuzzy rock record has sonic concoctions that could have easily been taken from the best 90s and 2000s teen movies; not only does it serve its purpose of self-acceptance and healing, but it also further solidifies Laus’ place in the industry as a formidable, agenda-setting songwriter.
Words: Shannon Garner
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