Beabadoobee's Latest EP, Loveworm, Doesn't Disappoint
By Thomas Rodriguez
While Loveworm may be a bit slow at times, Beabadoobee’s latest EP wriggles its way into my heart with some pure heart and lavish bedroom pop aesthetics.
Bedroom pop as a genre has never truly been the mainstream’s forté: while I’ve listened to my fair share of the genre, not a lot of it is truly promoted in most weekly-updated album drop playlists. The same speaks true for bedroom pop upcomer Beabadoobee (aka Bea Kristi)’s new EP, Loveworm. While it may be a bit out of the way and quiet, it’s still a highly touching and rewarding listen that warrants a few plays and accompanying midnight sobs.
Right off the bat, Beabadoobee seems to be dabbling in the sort of lo-fi, yet altogether maximalist approach taken by some of indie’s most prominent acts today, but with a more intimate and expressive edge. “Why’d you fucking disappear?” Kristi sings on the opener “Disappear” over marching percussion and reverbed guitar, a perfectly blunt sentiment that establishes the album’s moody tone while remaining extremely relatable. Her performance throughout Loveworm is mostly restrained, lacking a purely sonic force but still carrying a sort of quiet strength that stands above the watery production. While the performance remains a bit safe throughout the EP’s 26-minute runtime, the angst in the lyrics makes up for it. For example, the hateful love expressed in track “1999” exhibits a scarily human emotion that’s not often discussed in song.
Beabadoobee, being as young as she is (under 20; you go girl!), no doubt covers many youthful tones in her writing on Loveworm, but it still carries an impressive amount of bluntness and coy. “Angel,” for example, is somehow the most thought-provoking and direct song on the album, potentially about drug use but indicating something more than that; addiction, perhaps. Songs such as this provide a beautiful backdrop to some lonely moments, perfect to listen to while sitting in the moonlight or in a room while a storm pours around you. “Ceilings,” too, is almost a folky, siren-song, including some subtle electronics alongside euphoric guitar strums and echoed vocals.
The production on the album, overall is excellent; even more so considering Kristi didn’t learn guitar until a little while ago! “Apple Cider” is a nice change of pace from the album’s quiet mood, with guitars and vocal lines as sweet as the titular drink. “You Lie All the Time” is cocky, with punchy drums and a rock aesthetic that twists the listener’s ears as much as much as Bea twists her own accusations and pleading throughout the track, a beautiful pop concoction. The lyrical power and instrumental prettiness collides in a beautiful explosion on standout “Soren,” a lovesick ballad that longs for home in a loved one’s arms and named after Bea’s own real-life boyfriend. The vocals are pretty, the hook is catchy, and the acoustics and strings make for a beautiful combo. It’s a wonderful send-off for this little EP, packing plenty of power within a stripped-back approach that carries a perfect amount of angst, humanity, and casual nature. It is tracks such as this that make bedroom pop so great.
Considering it is one of Beabadoobee’s first big projects, Loveworm is a great listen. While the vocal presence may be a bit one-note between tracks, Bea more than makes up for it with some great production choices and great songwriting. I can’t wait to see where she goes from here; for now, I can definitely let this little Loveworm stay in my song garden for a while.
Note: cover photo included courtesy of Amir Hossain (@blackksocks on Instagram)