To celebrate my 60th birthday, I asked my social media friends to nominate a favourite song from 2021 – 60 to commemorate the fact I am 60. Today I have decided to indulge myself and choose a new song from beabadoobee – Last Day On Earth.
I’ve had occasion to write about beabadoobee before, doubtless noticing her wonderfully seductive vampiric qualities, her ability to plunder some of the finer, slightly more obscure aspects of what once was called ‘indie’ music in the late 80s/early 90s. Last time around, I was more than surprised to hear myself listening to what sounded like Felt on the Radio One Breakfast Show; this time around I am more than happy to be reminded of The Sundays (specifically ‘Here’s Where The Story Ends’) whenever Greg James decided to cast a glance in the direction of beabadoobee – albeit with a little of The Stone Roses’ delectable rhythm section (specifically ‘Waterfall’) thrown in. Maybe it’s the Matt Healy connection? I am rather fond of yr Matt Healy. Maybe it’s the context (much as I enjoy Greg James’ slightly forced banter and love of cricket vaguely charming, I can’t say I am a fan of the lukewarm grey lacklustre singer-songwriter uncle rock his programmers like to populate his programme with). Context is everything.
I listen to beabadoobee now, shorn of the context of bleary Monday mornings and sullen children arguing, and once again think that perhaps she’s a little too cutsie, a little too slick, a little too Urban Outfitters for my taste. A little too landfill indie. Perhaps I am simply way too old.
And then I go back and check the lyrics and I am like, yeah. Whatever.
I want to get fucked up at home Be naked alone And turn up my phone Because this song I wrote Is just so fucking sick
Frankly, I prefer “People I know/Places I go/Make me feel tongue tied” but maybe subtlety is no longer allowed in the TikTok generation. Either way I know I am gonna love this the next time I tune into Radio One with the kids.
I have been aware of Beabadoobee before, partly because she wrote and sang the one song I would never dream of performing myself – punchline here – and partly because I am always intrigued when the mainstream pretends to embrace (what the mainstream calls) the lo-fi. I will never get the Scott Pilgrim reference, whether it be good or bad, because I have no way of knowing who the fuck Scott Pilgrim even is although I secretly suspect it (he?) has something to do with what I am talking about above, the intersection where clothing chains choose to market their wares with DIY and DIY loves it because who the fuck wouldn’t love a little extra spending money? Credibility counts for everything. This is pure 1990s except for the point where I start wondering why they’re playing Kitchens Of Distinction on the Radio One Breakfast Show, oh wait that was the 1990s. I mean, except for the point where my attention drifts and I wonder when they’re next gonna play that one insanely catchy song that sums up 2019 in sped-up monochrome, that the DJs yesterday afternoon were being snide about, saying it’s only been Number One for 12 weeks because kids have been streaming it and they were laughing at the idea of kids streaming music, you STUPID FUCKWADS, the kids love music way more than you can ever appreciate. Wait. I mean, up to that point and then I just want to go Billie Eilish Billie Eilish Billie Eilish Billie Eilish Billie Eilish Billie Eilish Billie Eilish Billie Eilish Billie Eilish Billie Eilish Billie Eilish Billie Eilish Billie Eilish Billie Eilish Billie Eilish Billie Eilish Billie Eilish Billie Eilish Billie Eilish Billie Eilish and I have an entire blog entry worked out pointing out Billie Eilish’s greatness in the context of Joni Mitchell, but that can wait right, cos now we’re back to listening to Beabadoobee and she’s wrong and delicious and so in thrall to the past it is a wonder anyone pays attention except of course to those who have grown up since those years the past is not even worth discussing and then the guitars go “felt”? and I go FELT! Fuck me! FELT! I’d swear I was listening to Felt except this is the Radio One Breakfast Show.