Beatrice Laus, aka beabadoobee, gives us floaty, coming-of-age feelings of love and harmony on her delicate second album.
“She reminded me that God starts with a capital, But I don’t think I could do it all,” beabadoobee sings on ‘Picture of Us’, a lovely, elongated track that sits two-thirds through Beatopia.
We, in turn, are reminded that this may be beabadoobee’s world – her own ‘topia – but that realm can still inhabit a delicacy, poise. Therein lies the charm on much of Beatopia, which disarms you throughout by its dreamlike quality, which is far softer than the grunge of her previous record ‘Fake It Flowers’. We float into it through the opener ‘Beatopia Cultsong’ – a kind of hushed welcoming lullaby into a lucid state.
‘Sunny day’ is superb and warm, its title and minimal lyrics (“With the sun we’ll leave my house, I’m sorry for yesterday”), both aiding and related to the cloud-like feel and imagery of the album as a whole.
Its sweet, melodious guitar-playing also brings to mind more warmer climes, like wondering through a region of Spain or Latin America – a feat which is repeated, and enhanced with the help of percussion, on the bossa nova of ‘the perfect pair’. One could almost salsa to it.
I say almost because ultimately this is an album of introversion and introspection – one best absorbed in solitude or at least in stillness, gazing at the sky. We’re let into beabadoobee’s hive of heartbroken experiences and the life lessons she’s accumulated. “Don’t think I’m over it, it hurt when I was seventeen, Flew by so quickly I could hardly breathe”, she reveals softly on ‘broken cd’.
That’s not to say it’s too rooted just in the self, though. In fact, as the childlike drawing of its album cover reflects, this is an album that was inspired by the imaginary escapism Bea would explore as a child, and which she revisited during those same claustrophobic days of lockdown. Consequently, there’s the equally childlike expressions that ‘tinkerbell is overrated’ and an ethereal ‘fairy song’.
Such ideas could have run the risk of being childish, rather than just childlike. But they’re redeemed by more raucous, higher-energy crescendos, which add a certain depth.
“Guess when I’m older I’ll be able to see, That when it gets colder I care less about me”, she sings on ‘fairy song’, reminding us that whilst it may be inspired by Bea’s younger self, it’s more a coming-of-age tale and one we can all relate to. And one I can certainly recommend – provided you do so, staring at the clouds.