Beabadoobee does so much more than sit at home, cry at Pavement and wish she was Stephen Malkmus. Sometimes Beabadoobee hangs out with the leader of Pavement.
While touring in Portland, Oregon, in 2019, Beabadoobee – Beatrice “Bea” Laus’s stage name – performed “I Wish I Was Stephen Malkmus”, her homage to the king of ’90s indie rock. The frontman was in the crowd to hear Bea sing about how she would hang in her room and cry to her band’s tunes.
âI remember giving a speech before I sang ‘Stephen Malkmus’, I was like ‘This is dedicated to the guy I wrote this song about,’â Bea told the Herald with a laugh. âThere is a video of him watching me on stage giving this speech. â¦ He’s so sweet and I talk to his kids every now and then.
Since that meeting with Malkmus, Bea has only leaned more on her love of ’90s rock – and she’s only gotten bigger (she now has more streams than her heroes in Pavement). The Philippines-born, London-raised singer-songwriter-guitarist continues to transform her online stardom in the physical world during her current US tour, which stops at Royale on Friday.
The last time Bea toured she hadn’t gone viral yet – her dreamy folk song “Coffee” found around a billion plays after being sampled on the single “Death Bed (Coffee for Your Head). by hip-hop artist Powfu “. She also hadn’t become a full-fledged writer capable of creating clever hooks and rock ‘n’ roll slam.
â(During the pandemic) I really started watching live broadcasts on the internet,â Bea said. âI feel like the funniest shows are the ones where we go crazy and scream and make mosh pits. I wanted to write (songs) so I could start a mosh pit.
This mosh pit energy hangs over the edge of Bea’s recent tracks (see crescendos in “Care”, “Sorry” and “Worth It” on 2020 debut LP “Fake It Flowers”). But there is also a real profession behind his messy rock. For fans of Boston-centric bands, consider Juliana Hatfield or the Lemonheads. Globally, influences Cardigans, Elliot Smith and Moldy Peaches appear on “Fake It Flowers” and the 2021 EP “Our Extended Play”.
“They weren’t afraid to make mistakes, they weren’t afraid to be experimental,” she said of her influences. âTheir imperfections were what made these songs so good and catchy, even though the lyrics weren’t drawn correctly. There are huge Mineral emo recordings with the same line repeated a hundred times, but that’s what that line means. (These groups) are not holding back.
Bea originally wanted to be a teacher. She got her first guitar at 17 and played just to help her sanity. Fortunately, she realized that she was too good a songwriter to do anything else.
âI wasn’t expecting much, I considered it a hobby,â she said. âThat this is my job now, it’s super cool but I’m really not used to all of this. It’s scary but in a good way.
While writing her first EP in her bedroom with an acoustic guitar, Bea felt a little intimidated. But stepping into lo-fi god Kimya Dawson helped her understand that energy and emotion outlast technique and theory.
âYou don’t have to know a hundred chords to write a good song,â Bea said. âYou just need to feel. “
Which could be Pavement’s slogan. Hey wait, maybe Beabadoobee has to give up on “I wish I was Stephen Malkmus”. Maybe she already is.
For more details and tickets go to beabadoobee.com.