Beabadoobee Credit: Callum Harrison

British singer-songwriter Beabadoobee is only 20 years old, but on her debut album, Fake It Flowers, she’s written songs that sound like alt-pop favorites from the decade before she was born—mostly the Sundays with a hint of Tanya Donelly. To my ears, her music’s combo of sugary sweetness with a hint of bile defines the “alternative” era’s pop songwriting as precisely as a flannel shirt signifies its rock fashion. Beabadoobee (born Beatrice Laus and also known as Bea Kristi) got her first break when YouTube’s 1-800-LOVE-U channel shared the video for her 2017 single “Coffee,” which she’d recorded in a friend’s bedroom—she racked up more than 300,000 views in just days, and in 2018 she landed a contract with West London label Dirty Hit. The following year Canadian rapper Powfu sampled “Coffee” for his track “Death Bed,” which went viral on TikTok. Because Bea is young and sings with a gentle lilt, some people might mistake her for demure, but her lyrics reveal a woman who doesn’t have to take your bullshit. On “Worth It” she asserts, “I’m not wasting time / But you’ve been on my mind.” The album’s breakout single, “Care” (it peaked at 27 on the Billboard Rock Airplay chart last month), layers jangly guitar with declarations of independence that strike a similar tone: “I don’t want your sympathy / Stop saying you give a shit / ‘Cuz you don’t really care.” Despite the very 21st-century start to her career, Beabadoobee isn’t merely a lucky winner in the viral-video lottery; the solid pop statements that fill Fake It Flowers befit the evolution of a talented songwriter.   v