“Knowing each other for as long as we have helps tremendously,” singer Heather Boo nods, on the topic of Beau’s songwriting process. “We realise how lucky we are to have each other, but also how lucky we are to have this beautiful concept called ‘time’.”
Speaking to Clash from their home city of New York, Heather Boo and Emma Rose have previously worked on a number of projects together, though the impending release of debut album ‘That Thing Reality’, that the pair are currently gearing up for, is their biggest musical milestone to date.
Both aged 21, the duo grew up together in the same Manhattan neighbourhood and their mothers were close friends, inevitably leading to the evolution of a strong friendship. They’re now as close as sisters. Both submerged in culture from a young age, and uninterested in solely academic careers, the decision to team up and make music together came naturally, initiating at the very beginning of their teenage years. Following the widespread acclaim of their eponymous debut EP, which was released last year through Parisian tastemakers Kitsuné, their debut album is now complete. “People can expect the full Beau experience,” reveals Emma Rose. “We are full of all kinds of emotions, from excitement to relief, to pure happiness.”
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Recorded between Nashville and London, ‘That Thing Reality’ comprises twelve songs that each deliver an insight into the pair’s refreshingly timeless sound; as a matter of fact, Beau - meaning external beauty in both English and in French - befits the music that they make completely. Otherwise, the album’s sound is very difficult to pin down: “If the word ‘eclectic’ could be a genre, it probably would be our genre,” Heather Boo says. “Personally, it is a conglomeration of our life experiences. We don't necessarily feel comfortable being categorised into one genre.”
Musically, Beau’s influences stretch from the likes of Radiohead to David Bowie, through Billie Holiday, while a love of romantic novels, world history and e e cummings are also worn on the band’s sleeves, lending a real poetic majesty to their body of work. EP cuts such as album opener ‘C’mon Please’, fan favourite ‘One Wing’ and ‘Soar Across The Sea’ (each stylistically diverse) are joined by a new wave of gems. ‘Animal Kingdom’ conveys what’s perhaps the album’s strongest dabbling with contemporary pop music, thanks to the highly infectious chorus, while a selection of sombre ballads (‘Oceans’, ‘Leave Me Be’) highlight the bohemian splendour of Heather Boo’s stirring vocals, accompanied by sparse, often acoustic, instrumental backing. “The process was very natural; our producer [Al O’Connell] was on the same wavelength as us and everyone involved brought great ideas to the table. It flowed exactly how we imagined it would,” explains Heather. “Our label introduced us to him, and he brought a colourful vibration to the album.”
Debut album release aside, the band’s upcoming schedule consists of “more performing, more music, and more inspiration.” Beau have already begun to make their mark on the UK, what with their remarkable debut EP, as well as a handful of live shows working as a platform for striking performances packed with flawlessly interpreted cuts from their emotionally-driven back catalogue. The tour to support ‘That Thing Reality’ is set to include a “surprise” London show, but the pair aren’t too keen to divulge specific details just yet. Nonetheless, if the foreseeable acclaim for their gorgeous debut is anything to go by, it looks as though the pair will have to book far more than one UK date in order to keep up with the overwhelming demand.
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Words: Jonathan Hatchman
Photography: Dom Smith