A NEW KIND OF BEAU

04.06.2015 | Music | BY:

Native New Yorkers Heather Boo and Emma Rose, otherwise known as BEAU, make the kind of harmonised blissfully soaked folk-pop with a modern new wave vibe, that sends you into a state of mellow melancholy, rooted in a fragile musical journey that wallows through their mindset and experiences – at times it’s a bumpy ride, with emotionally charged lyrics that underscore all those tear-inducing woes – “Is there such a thing as Karma? Falling in your life at the wrong time, when you’re sitting alone, an empty pistol with a glass of the wrong wine.”

Who knows what kind of wine is in their glass, but it suits BEAU to let loose. A little drama never hurt anyone did it?

Having worked with photographer Ryan McGinley, French cult magazine Purple and Gia Coppola for an Opening Ceremony campaign, BEAU have now released their self-titled debut EP via tastemaker Parisian label Kitsuné.

Ahead of their upcoming headline London show, we spoke to the multifaceted duo about their New York state of mind, personal heroes and good karma.

How did you both come together to form BEAU?
We started making music when we were 13 years old. From the moment we learned to play guitar, songwriting then followed. By 18 we had written so many songs that we didn’t know what to do with them. Beau was the answer.

What were each of you doing before that?
Emma: I was studying in school to become an ecologist. I’m very passionate about sustainability.

Heather: I was trying to get through High school and all of the drama that came with it. I was always affected by little things.

Your soundscape has been described as 70s folk Americana meets the West Coast– how would you define it?
Children of New York.

And your musical break came through cult Paris-based label Kitsuné – how did they discover you?
We met the co-founder Gildas Loaëc in Paris through our mutual friend André Saraiva. André told Gildas about our iPhone recordings of our songs and Gildas was all ears. The next thing we knew our relationship became deeply involved with Kitsunè. They are like family now.

So you hail from NYC and ‘New Wave New Yorkis a hot topic right now – how do you think the mindset of young creatives there like yourselves, is adapting to the citys changing cultural identity?
The mindset for us at least is that the city’s cultural identity changed a long time ago so all we can do to preserve whatever is left is to continue to be ourselves.

The city obviously influences your vision – what else motivates you to write?
Anything from an empty room to the most beautiful view can inspire us to write. It really only takes our imagination. You can write about anything and nothing at the same time, and then of course there’s the whole wide world at our creative disposal… it goes on and on.

And lyrically, where do you draw your inspiration from?
We are really inspired by Lou Reed and Leonard Cohen for their impeccable writing skills. They always manage to penetrate the psyche with the least amount and most simple of words. It’s about getting a feeling on paper and making sure that whatever you are trying to say is clear. When an emotion enters our minds we use lyrics as a release, it helps express and relieve.

Music is a universal language – do you think a lot about the way other cultures are working when writing songs?
We try to make sure that our lyrics aren’t rude or offensive in any way, but also make a statement and touch people. If we don’t speak about things that matter and affect the people of this earth nobody is going to vibe with the music.

Talking of vibes – one of the tracks on your debut EP is called ‘Karma– do you believe in it?
It’s funny you ask because both our Mother’s study Buddhism and believe in its power, but as for us.. we kind of just think of it in a simplified way. Bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to good people.

But you’re obviously both quite spiritually minded?
Yes we are very spiritual. It’s all about energy.

And with the energy your music gives off, how would you like people to connect with it – what do you want them to take away?
A feeling, any feeling, at the least.

You describe your EP as a mix of songs about love, friendship and never giving up–  whats your life motto?
Be true and you will live a true life.

And do you have personal heroes?
Our Mum, Dad, Einstein, and all the doctors and nurses out there volunteering and saving lives.

So let’s talk about women in music and the latest conversation surrounding the lack of female performers at festivals like Coachella and Glastonbury, in comparison to the guys – whats your take on it?
We think it should be changed and that there should be just as many women performing as men. It should be that way for everything.

And what can female artists like yourselves continue to do to ensure a balanced and positive representation of women in music, so future generations have inspirational role models like we’ve grown up with?
Stand up for our natural born rights, for freedom, for equality and live by these words: LOVE, SUPPORT, GIVE, BE THANKFUL, CARE, BE STRONG.

Now your own profile and fanbase is growing, what about the recognition side – are you ready to be stared at in the street?
It already happens because we’re such weirdos so hey, yeah, why not!

What about social media – you seem to have embraced it and enjoy a good selfie?
An occasional selfie never does any harm. Neither does the occasional post. We probably will never be fully enwrapped in the cyber world but we welcome it.

And your look is a real mix of girlie vintage meets street casual tomboy – tell us about the BEAU wardrobe?
501 Jeans and a faded T-shirt with some suede shoes. Perhaps a leather jacket or a jean jacket and the occasional terracotta silk dress. Trench coats are good too. If we feel eccentric we go super vintage. But it’s all hand-me downs. When a designer gives us a piece we really cherish it and only wear it on special occasions.

So you’re about to play a showcase in London – on a scale of excited to very excited, how excited are you?
We are falling off our chairs, that’s how excited we are!

BEAU the EP is out now via Kitsuné and to win one of 5 pairs of tickets to see the duo play in London on June 8th at The Social, just send your name and email address to adam.guest@purplepr.com. The 5 winners will be selected at random and notified.

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