Album cover artwork for Beabadoobee with neon green vinyl record popping outTwo years after her debut LP, Beabadoobee returns with a sophomore record on which hazy guitar catches on knots of sparkling electronic detail – like dewy spiderwebs on the wind.

Meanwhile, bursts of ’60s doo-wop or thumping ’90s kit accompany Bea Kristi’s ethereal voice, telling the stories of her life and loves.

We put some questions to the artist about the microcosm that is Beatopia.

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We can hear many more experimental little glitches across the album than in your previous work. Are they all electronic, or did you (and guitarist/ collaborator Jacob Bugden) make some field recordings?

We experimented so much on this album. Jacob and I bonded over all the electronic glitchy sounds, and putting them across acoustic songs or layering them on the full band ideas. There’s field recordings, messing around with ‘teenage engineering’ equipment, and just a lot of production electronic ideas that Jacob ran with – it’s really the record I’ve always been trying to make.

You’ve said that the speaking part in 10:36 was really hard to do because it felt cringe. Do you think now it’s recorded you can look at it like an already existing piece of art that will be less difficult to perform (because you’ll be recreating it, not inventing it)?

I just released 10:36, and it feels more relevant than ever when hearing it and playing it. It’s definitely just a classic thing to do to criticise or question yourself when you’re making things. I’m enjoying that part of the song playing it live – the crowd get into it, and it’s a bit of a moment where everyone gets involved shouting back at me.

The album art is pretty captivating – how did your tattoo artist friend Dasha create it?

Dasha is amazing. I love her tattoo and painting artwork style. We spoke about making a cover that felt like there is a world within it – lots of characters and things happening on the cover, but still minimal. Something you can keep staring at and discover new things every time you look; I like the idea of finding something new each time you see it. I sent Dasha some examples of things I love, other covers of albums that I connected with, [that] had that style with a world in it. In the end I really just trust what she does, and she ended up sending a lot of ideas separately – we started to piece them together to make the final cover that it is today.

You’ve said a few times that Lovesong makes you cry. Does it feel strange to have created something yourself that makes you cry, rather than an external stimulation?

I think it’s strange, yeah. You just have these moments where you channel what you’re thinking and feeling and put it into what you are creating. It can really be overwhelming when you think about it. Hearing it back and reliving those feelings can hit you and take you back to that moment. Also, it’s healthy to cry.

Did The Perfect Pair always have this rad bossa nova beat behind it?

Yeah — it really started with that rhythm in mind. It kind of drives the song. We worked it out after the music was all put together, but it’s been there pretty much from the start. We had Luca play drums on it. It’s one of my faves to play with the band, and really shows another side of the album and songwriting.

What do you love about red pandas?

I just think they’re super special. They’re so cute and adorable and I’ve really become obsessed with them. On tour recently I went to a zoo, and they were there. It was amazing to see them in person as I basically spend so much time looking them up online. They make me happy.

 

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Beatopia by Beabadoobee is out July 15 via Dirty Hit.

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