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Beabadoobee, '10:36'

There's an alternate universe in which Bea Laus, who performs as Beabadoobee, is a major superstar this side of the Atlantic. The easy, '90s-worshipping rock songs of her 2020 debut Fake It Flowers were slickly produced bangers, grungy and glittery in all the right places. She's a rockstar with a craft for pop songwriting, but her music feels simultaneously too shiny for today's indie rock-listening crowd, and too off-trend to climb any pop charts.

Not that charts or genres are of any interest to Laus, anyway — or at least that's what I think when I hear "10:36." The catchy, fuzzed-out single from her forthcoming sophomore album Beatopia has a loose noisiness, with dueling, twangy guitars and staticky drum machine beats. A cheerleader stomp in the background — "I! Don't! Want! To!" — underscores Laus' letdown of a lover who thought what they had was a bigger deal than it was. I'm reminded of the textures of early Broken Social Scene — the sound of too many band members in the room, noodling guitar lines criss-crossing into artful cacophony. On "10:36," Beabadoobee builds a magnetic, rough-around-the-edges sound, but with a sweetness at its core.

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Hazel Cills
Hazel Cills is an editor at NPR Music, where she edits breaking music news, reviews, essays and interviews. Before coming to NPR in 2021, Hazel was a culture reporter at Jezebel, where she wrote about music and popular culture. She was also a writer for MTV News and a founding staff writer for the teen publication Rookie magazine.