Published Oct 16, 2020With a dedicated Gen-Z fanbase, beabadoobee — the moniker of musician Bea Kristi — has become a household name to fans of bedroom pop playlists and viral TikTok videos. Fake It Flowers, her debut full-length album, aims to blur the genre barrier between '90s garage rock and lo-fi pop, finding her on the cusp of breaking into mainstream radio while remaining a budding rock star in her own right.
Fuelled by her love for Britpop, the album carries a deep nostalgia for that era of grunge, chipped vinyl and vintage threads. The songs sound like they were recorded while rocking out with her friends in the garage with a no-fucks-given attitude toward music — and it works.
There are the fuzzy standout hits like "Care" and "Sorry," about childhood trauma and the masochism of her past. She channels all her teenage angst through broken patch cords, giving her sweet demeanour a jagged edge, drawing from her tumultuous journey from being expelled from high school to teaching herself how to play guitar via YouTube tutorials to signing a record deal with the 1975's label, Dirty Hit.
She takes a feminine stance on "Dye It Red," then puts her angst on overdrive with "Charlie Brown," which is the farthest thing from her lo-fi comfort zone. There is some pretty guitar picking on "Back to Mars," while the delicate string arrangements on "Horen Sarrison" underscore the sweet love song to her boyfriend and collaborator, Soren Harrison. ("You are the sun that I need for my mental state / Convinced you're from outer space.")
Although there are messy guitar techniques and screeching slides all over the record, Kristi hones her craft on "How Was Your Day" with careful lyrics and a contemplative sound. And then just when you think she's embracing peace and quiet, she kicks off album closer "Yoshimi, Forest, Magdalene" with a fart joke before hurling right into a fun track that showcases how her anthemic rock star dreams have become her new reality.
Kristi has embraced the cliché that she was born in the wrong generation, wishing she lived in the '90s. With bleached hair, butterfly clips and brutally honest lyrics, she is unapologetically herself, and encourages others to do the same. She is loud and thoughtful. The melodies are flirty and messy. Fake It Flowers is an album made to play with guts and grit. At such a young age, Kristi knows herself extremely well, yet is mindful enough to give up only so much of herself to this strong collection of songs. (Dirty Hit)