The spirit of the alternative 90’s is well and truly still thriving today. Soccer Mommy, Snail Mail, and Momma are just some of the recent artists memorialising its grunge and fuzz in their sound. Alex G was arguably the greatest revivalist of the last decade, his earlier Bandcamp recording in particular recalling so fervently the sad songwriting and despondent guitars of Elliott Smith.
Add Beabadoobee to the list of those reimagining that decade for Gen Z with her debut studio album Fake It Flowers. Hers is a very contemporary success story. Born in the Philippines in 2000 (read that number and despair), the family moved to the UK when she was three, settling in North London. While attending a majority-white Catholic school, she soon felt alienated and lost, this sense of dislocation leading to drug use and mental health struggles, ultimately resulting in Beabadoobee (real name Bea Kristi) being thrown out of school. Solace was foundthrough the sounds of 90’s rock as she discovered the likes of The Cranberries, Mazzy Star, and The Moldy Peaches. It was then that her dad brought home a guitar, a second-hand instrument offering first-hand hope.
One of those omnipresent YouTube accounts – the ones that back woozy lo-fi pop with hazy, often anime-inspired visuals – 1-800-LOVE picked up her first single ‘Coffee’ (the first song she ever wrote) and it went viral. It then grew in virality again after Powfu sampled it in his TikTok smash ‘Death Bed’.