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Dirty Hit records must be an interesting place to be a young musician. On the one hand is their core sound, the tedious, self-aggrandizing, egomaniac Matt Healy and his band of lousy layabouts, and their protégés in the infinitely more interesting Pale Waves. On the other, an ocean of mediocre nothingness by the standards of my admittedly confusing and judgemental music taste. There’s even been speculation on Dirty Hit’s questionable treatment of people of colour. Until recently, one band stood alone as The Reason I Was Vaguely Interested In Dirty Hit™ – Wolf Alice. The band that taught me there were people making cool music while not playing to 50,000 people. But now, one individual has reached up to join them amongst the stars – Beabadoobee.
Beabadoobee was introduced to me by the previous editor of this fine publication (he even wrote about her here) and may well have been the best recommendation of 2019. That year’s EP, Space Cadet, is like a simultaneous blast to 1992 and 2025. It’s all the sounds I love from the past, updated and refreshed to form a decidedly individual approach to grungy rock.
Now, she’s back. ‘Care’ is the first single to an upcoming debut album, Fake It Flowers, and promises a continuation of an awesome sound.
Musically, once the song kicks off it’s all 90s. The drums may as well be straight out of the Dave Grohl playbook, bringing heft and building power exactly as required without resorting to overplayed snare builds and generic fills. Guitar wise, its grunge meets the little Radiohead I’m interested in. Quiet-Loud-Quiet is absolutely the pattern here, with intricacy to the verses that one wouldn’t expect after hearing only the first verse. The overall sound is so sharp my fingers are bleeding over the keyboard. I should probably fix that.
The interlink between vocals and music is equally 90s. The chorus’ *DR DR -Silence-* ‘Care’ *DR DR -Silence-* ‘Care’ is straight out of ‘Heart-Shaped Box’. With a chorus laden middle 8 showcasing the more exposed vocals and lyrical themes of the track, it all comes together very cohesively.
The lyrics are understandably and relatably petulant yet insightful teenager. It’s by no means the deepest or most complex set of words ever set to music, but the feelings of fake concern and trying to expose the superficial nature of people’s seeming interest and concern are intrinsically human. It’s something I imagine many people want to express, but don’t want the repercussions of expressing them.
Visually, the video continues on the same theme. All I’ll really say is that I’m a sucker for super 8 style videos, and if anyone wants to show me how to use one of those old cameras, I’d be incredibly grateful.
While there isn’t a release date for the album yet, keep an eye on this page for more singles and news. I’ll definitely be looking to keep you up to date. In the meantime, go and listen to Space Cadet, possibly even below:
Oh, and if you enjoyed it (and are a hipster snob like me), the blue vinyl is really cool.