Dye It Red
Back To Mars
How Was Your Day?
Yoshimi, Forest, Magdalene
“I had a lot to write about,” beabadoobee tells Apple Music of her debut album Fake It Flowers. “I’m just a girl with girl problems, and I feel like there are a lot of girls who have the same problems.” Over 12 songs, Beatrice Laus explores those issues in what she calls “diary entries,” written in her bedroom over just a couple of months in late 2019. Here, she shakes off what people think of her (“Further Away,” the hook-laden “Care”), screams out her sadness (“Charlie Brown”), and gives way to the abandon of young love (the woozy, self-aware “Horen Sarrison”). “I made sure that there was a song for every mood and for every Bea that exists,” says the Philippines-born, London-raised singer. “This is a very personal album. It was everything I was supposed to tell someone but couldn’t, or just, like, never did.”
The songs here are an unabashed love letter to the '90s artists—and movies—she was devoted to growing up. (“Everyone glorifies the past,” says Laus of her obsession with a decade that ended a year before her birth.) Only three years after the first song she ever wrote, the hushed, ultra-lo-fi “Coffee,” earmarked beabadoobee as a name to know, the singer wants Fake It Flowers to do for other young women what those artists—from The Cardigans to Oasis, via Elliott Smith and Alanis Morissette—did for her. “When I’m really sad, I like to dance in my underpants in front of my mirror,” she says. “I always pick a good album to dance to. And I want Fake It Flowers to be that album for someone.” Hairbrushes at the ready: Let beabadoobee take you through her raw debut, track by track.
“As soon as this came to life, I was like, ‘This is the first song.’ It describes the whole sound of Fake It Flowers—the big guitars, that nostalgic feeling. And lyrically the song talks about the fact that no one is ever going to get me. But it’s the idea that I'm going to sing my heart out and not give a fuck if you don't like it. I just wanted a really good radio pop song, something that could end [1999 rom-com] 10 Things I Hate About You.”
“This song is about the temptations you get when you're on tour and when you're away—the stupid things you can do when you're alone in a hotel room. It was hard to get through it, but I'm glad I wrote it because it was like an ending of that bit of my life. But sonically, it’s something good out of a bad situation. I wanted to make an album for people to dance to in their bedrooms, despite how depressing the songs are.”
Dye It Red
“This song isn’t actually about me. It's stories I've heard from other people, and it’s about stupid boys. I have no filter with the lyrics. It’s also about being comfortable with who you are. At times, I feel like a hypocrite for singing this song, because I always care about what my boyfriend thinks. But I shouldn't, right? I wanted ‘Dye It Red’ to fizzle out into a beautiful mess at the end, especially around the lyrics where I'm like, ‘You're not even that cute, that cute.’ I thought it was funny and sassy.”
Back to Mars
“I feel like this is where the album takes a shift into a darker-sounding side. ‘Care’ and ‘Worth It’ are the surface level of my problems. This is where it gets really deep into, like, ‘This is why I'm fucked up.’ This song pays homage to the space theme of my EP Space Cadet, which this song was originally supposed to be for. This was the second take I did—it was just me and my guitar, and then Pete [Robertson] put all these amazing atmospheric sounds around it. It was meant to be a really fast-paced track with loads of drums, but it’s a very innocent song.”
“This is very heavy! And screaming on this song was probably the funnest moment of recording this album. They asked, ‘Are you sure you can scream?’ But I scream so much in my bedroom when I’m alone, so I was like: ‘I was born ready.’ I wanted to talk about a situation in my life as if I was just taking it out of my system. And what better way to do that than scream? I have a Charlie Brown strip tattooed on my arm—I was obsessed with Snoopy when I was a kid.”
“Originally, this was going to be another heavy one, but Pete suggested making it a super sad and slow one. The songs at this point all bleed into one another. And I did that on purpose, because they were all made together. The song talks about my childhood and how it affected me during my teenage life and what I did to kind of just drag myself of everything that happened to me.”
“If my voice sounds vulnerable in this song, it’s because I was half crying while I was singing it. And it was a hard one to sing, because it is just so honest. It speaks about a really sad situation with someone I know and someone I really love. I had a pretty wild teenage life. I think me and my friendship group did what college kids did when we were 15. Anything in excess is bad. And we just did a bit too many drugs, really. And for some, [it was] too much—to the point they had to get [involuntarily hospitalized]. It's just sad to watch someone's life kind of wither away, especially knowing that they could have had an amazing life ahead of them. I wish I was more involved. But when something's too hard to watch, you just kind of separate yourself from it. Getting all of that off my chest was so relieving. And I said sorry. At least, in my head, I apologized.”
“I've always wanted to be a Disney princess. The strings come into play and I wanted to feel like a princess. This is where the positivity comes in the album—there’s a feeling of hope. This song is about all the people who were really mean to me growing up, and I’m just saying how dumb they were. But really, nothing’s real. They were going through the same shit.”
“Literally a six-minute love song of me saying, ‘I'm in love.’ It's supposed to be ridiculous. It's supposed to be very outwardly Disney Princess vibes. I was playing it to Pete and I was like, ‘And then the strings go like this,’ humming how I wanted it to sound. And he really brought it to life, and I owe it to him. It definitely is the most grand song on the album. And it’s really fun to play as well, because it just is me talking about how in love I am. I wanted a song for every mood, and this is definitely for that happy mood. And it's about Soren Harrison. I thought it was kind of funny to switch the two letters and call it ‘Horen Sarrison.’ It’s just so stupid.”
How Was Your Day?
“I recorded it in my boyfriend’s garden. Lyrically, it talks about my journey and about how hard it was being away from home and missing people. And I feel like it only made sense to go back to my roots on the way I recorded it, on a really shitty four-track, just me and my guitar with a missing string. It was really refreshing. There was always talk about doing a ‘Coffee’ moment on this album. Like, ‘Let's strip it back to just you and your guitar.’ And I really wanted it, but we didn't know how we were going to do it. Then lockdown happened and I was like, ‘I'm going to do it, Daniel Johnston style.’”
“This is paying homage to chicks who rock onstage. Like Veruca Salt and Hole. Writing this song made me realize a lot of things—for example, that I have this dependency thing as a person. But ‘Together’ made me realize that sometimes it's okay to be by yourself. Togetherness is cool, but being together all the time is kind of unhealthy. Again, I guess it was taking a sad situation and pouring my heart out into a song, and screaming it. And that felt pretty empowering.”
Yoshimi, Forest, Magdalene
“The name of this song is simply the names I want to call my children. I'm literally saying in the song, ‘You'll never leave me because you think I'm pretty, so we'll have lots of babies called Yoshimi, Forest, Magdalene.’ And it's supposed to be really stupid and fun to finish the album off on a positive note. I wanted it to be very messy—like so disgustingly distorted that you can't even hear a sound. We recorded it live in Wandsworth in a studio. There were two drum kits and we were just bashing the drums. It was fun, and very Flaming Lips-inspired. The last mood of this album is the really strange, weird Bea. And I think that’s my favorite one.”