Christopher Beebout is a North Bay Area-based alternative/folk singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, currently on a West Coast tour as Beebout with fellow North Bay artists Clementine Darling and The Great Wide Open, dubbed “The Wanderlust Tour.” On Friday, July 12th, Beebout released his debut EP (simply titled “EP“) comprised of four songs: “Something I Adore,” “Backburner,” “Fornicate,” and “You Made Me Go.” Overall, the EP is a great introduction to Beebout’s sound and serves to showcase his many diverse talents, both musically and lyrically. It’s no exaggeration when I say that I was hooked from the first song.
“Something I Adore” begins with a soft diminished chord progression on an acoustic guitar, evoking a relaxed and tropical feeling reminiscent of “The Girl From Ipo Nima.” Beebout’s voice lilts over the guitar with a catchy series of falsetto “oohs,” followed by the opening lines “Please don’t close the blinds / the sun don’t hurt my eyes…” Beebout’s voice is smooth and low, complemented with just a touch of grit. Just as the listener begins to fall into the relaxed feeling of the song, the rhythm picks up with a double-time drum beat, percussive strums on the acoustic guitar, shimmering synths and a dreamy clean electric guitar. The pounding kick drum and tambourine keep the song driving forward into the song’s simple but catchy chorus; “I know there’s something more / something new / something I adore.” The bridge of the song is where things get really interesting. Beebout begins to rap in a progression of truncated triplets over a building polyrhythm on the drums. The song climaxes after the second chorus with a tasteful guitar solo into the final chorus before most of the instruments suddenly drop out, leaving only the clean guitar to strike a final lick and decay.
“Backburner” immediately picks up on the quick pace left off by the previous song, carried by acoustic guitar strums, a steady bass line, and a driving kick drum. The call-and-response feel of the chorus reminds me of “Flashed Junk Mind” by Milky Chance; I would not be surprised if they turned out to be one of Beebout’s musical influences. Once again, Beebout has a chance to show off his rhyming skills in a flow reminiscent of Kid Cudi‘s over the song’s bridge. Lyrics like “I’m stealing the show / Oh my god I think I should maybe go” are a relatable reminder that everyone has their own problems, and it is oftentimes all too easy to get blinded by our own without being considerate of the ones we care about.
“Fornicate” begins with a warm, open chord progression on the acoustic guitar, evoking a cozy and comfortable feeling that is quickly juxtaposed by lyrics about a failed romance. The standout instrument on this track would certainly be the banjo, which provides a soft, staccato lead riff over the acoustic guitar and rhythm section and lends just a touch more of a folky ambiance to the song. The damning lyrics of the chorus, “She won’t say my name when we fornicate / But she says it when she knows I’m with my friends,” is so ballsy it reminds me of something Parker Cannon from The Story So Far would write. The mix on Beebout’s vocals is so warm and crisp it reminds me of Bon Iver.
The final track of the EP, “You Made Me Go,” is a fitting sendoff to this work. A simple acoustic guitar lick reminiscent of The White Stripe’s “We’re Going To Be Friends” leads off the song, although the lyrics remain melancholy in tone. My favorite part of this track is the falsetto voice that doubles the lead vocal during the chorus and complements its gritty tone. The mix is so clean and aurally pleasing. The production on every song is really just stellar, all-around warm and well-balanced. The ending of the song mirrors the way the EP began, with a soft round of memorable “ooh-oohs,” over an acoustic guitar, only this time the drumbeat is a marching one instead of a lilting one.
Beebout’s debut EP is available on Spotify, Apple Music, and all major streaming platforms. What is perhaps the most impressive feat of this album is that Beebout himself plays nearly every instrument, with the exception of a few parts performed by the album’s producer, Derek Ted, and the synth part in “Something I Adore,” which was played by Paul Conroy. And if you think that Beebout couldn’t possibly perform all these songs live by himself, that’s where you would be wrong. Beebout’s live performances are both eclectic and mesmerizing, consisting of live loops where he builds each part of the song individually, and then carries the drumbeat while singing at the same time. Not impressed yet? See him for yourself to see what I mean. To keep up with Beebout’s music releases and live performances, follow him on Facebook and Instagram.