♫♪  BEUATIUFL - a lovely angel

(sic)

Every so often, you’ll read the term “ringtone pop” thrown around to describe a wide variety of music, from the spartan production of Soulja Boy’s early output to PC Music’s perky synthpop. In either case, the genre tag applies to the artists in a more contextual sense: they recall the short period in the late aughts in which incoming call alerts comprised a multi-billion dollar industry. It’s more likely to evoke the memory of a flip-out QWERTY keypad against a matte-plastic shell than one particular sound: cute descriptor, but not precise enough for me.

Canada’s BEUATIUFL is the first post-internet artist I’ve come across that actually embodies the ringtone pop ethos in a visual, aural, and historical sense. Their debut EP, a lovely angel focuses its artistic lens on the sensory experience afforded by the Nokia 1100, which hit the market in 2003. Composing almost entirely in monophony, they eke rambling little digital-folk songs out of sine wave bloops, bodying the chime-like melodies with cherubic vocal harmonies.

The most interesting of the record’s four short offerings is its opener, “i sent an email to myself that said”, which thumps to the beat of a four-on-the-floor bass note. Barely tethered to the rhythm, BEUATIUFL recites a spoken-word piece that acts a millennial answer to Laurie Anderson’s “O Superman”: it’s goofy and conversational, but in this case it’s more concerned with a want to be a self-assured, #positive disciple of the BasedGod than a downed rescue helicopter.

The three tracks that follow are more tuneful, but are also weirder. “i know how to enjoy myself” is littered with whispered ditties — the sort of silly song sketches you’d sing to yourself driving to work. Closer “ten more minutes” hints at more complex arrangements to come, incorporating some saw tones and grainy snares into the mix.

Whether or not a lovely angel’s too bare-bones for you, it’s hard to knock its sheer originality. “IT’S EXPERIMENTAL!” reads the project’s Bandcamp page: my sentiments exactly, word for all-caps word.

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

Most Read