TikTok Bedroom Pop/Indie Rock sensation beebadoobee is walking a particularly fine line, artistically. She seems to be garnering a massive following among her fellow Gen-Z-ers despite much of her music, visuals & lyrics being aimed squarely at the nostalgia for the ’90’s. She has a single called I Wish I Was Stephen Malkmus.
Care is Bedroom Pop with a hard, Indie Rock edge. With it’s Stompbox abusing chorus, you could imagine it appearing on either NME or Kerrang! best of 1999 giveaway CD’s, despite that being the year before beabadoobee was even born. The lowkey Pop verses bring to mind Version 2.0 era Garbage, tracks like Push It or I Think I’m Paranoid. It’s actually a thrilling slice of Power Pop which could survive just as well on the radio as it could in an Indie/Rock themed nightclub.
The video is a mashup of various ’90’s (mainly) retrophilia tropes. Grungy ripped jumpers, CRT TV’s blurring & wobbling, emulated VHS decay, grainy film, reel to reel tape machines, Polaroids etc. Even things like the camera angles & the way the various clips are edited together screams ’90’s. As a guy approaching 40 I’m actually conflicted about the fetishisation of my own cultural upbringing as a way of selling records. As Pulp famously flashed on screen at the beginning of the Babies video, “A promo video is simply an advertisement for a song.” & this brings up another contradictory confusion: who exactly is this aimed at? Who is beabadoobee’s target audience? Is it me? The middle aged dude who was a teenager in the ’90’s, or her own generation (gen Z)? Are todays young fetishising the ’90’s in a similar way to how my generation fetishised the ’60’s? I have no answers & it’s driving me mad.
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