Beau, in both English and French, is a statement on external beauty and what goes on underneath. Their work can get muddled, but it maintains openness to interpretation. They embody both the confidence and fragility of 20 year-old young women. For them, starting a band was the vital, necessary thing to do. And no matter what, they are determined to make it at any cost.
Heather, the brunette, and Emma, the blonde, are as close as sisters. They are equally passionate and enthusiastic but this didn’t extend to Heather’s time studying advertising: she dropped out after two weeks. Her mother, a painter, knows the other side of this bohemian lifestyle too well to let her daughter succumb to the same fate. Though, it isn’t escaped that easily. As for Emma, when she decided to dedicate her life to the arts she knew that a solely academic career would not bring her to the success that she desired; turning down a handful of colleges, she stayed in New York and dedicated her undivided attention to creating music.
Immersed in art and culture, music quickly became a way of expressing themselves. This played a role in their influences and writing process. It made them versatile which would be important when forming the duo. But both of their sources of inspiration abound. Chatting with Heather and Emma you can imagine Francesco Clemente rubbing shoulders with Bernardo Bertolucci, Allen Ginsberg sharing a drink with Bukowski, and the Kinks jamming with Drake.
Nothing deters them. The girls toil, and they toil hard. They recruit the members for their live show themselves, while continuing to write and compose. It’s about the music; it’s always been about the music. Everything else is geared toward this goal—even their modelling. Fashion simply allows them to assert their styles, without having to force it. You see this and their fantastic New York bohemian lifestyle in Beau. It’s less of an episode of “Girls” than it is a real view of their everyday lives.
When they eventually met Gildas Loaëc, founder of Kitsuné, they recorded their first tracks between London and Nashville with producer Al O’Connell.
Their first EP showcases Beau perfectly, with the infinitely sad love song “Soar Across the Sea”, the hopeful “One Wing”, or the nod to Joni Mitchell’s line “You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone” that is somewhere between Warpaint and The White Stripes, with “C’mon Please”. The duo also bear themselves on “Lost Soul”, a more sentimental track for the girls. Written over a long time, it reflects an often-ignored desperate need for parental attention, and is an acknowledgement of Suprême NTM’s “Look at your youth in the eyes!”
If Bill de Blasio could predict the future, he’d be paying close attention to this New York duo because while the city is not in artistic ruin just yet, its sense of youth is falling somewhat by the wayside. New York has an incredible amalgamation of all sorts of people, both real and fictional, which you may have seen in films, in the theatre, or even imagined yourself. “We are constantly stimulated by this city’s sense of energy. Thanks to the streets, we’re wiser and stronger. We’ll always feel at home here..”
Beau is a snapshot. It’s a prism through which we see and understand New York youth rocked by their hope and illusions. It’s where the strange and glamorous live alongside one another, but where all dreams are valid, and where still waters run deep.