Beau

by Charlie Latan

You Can Only Go to Two Million Followers, and Then What Do You Do?
Bravo, Beau! Yes, straight out of Greenwich Village, a raw “songwriting” duo thrives in an era of MacBook Pros, retro genre-fication, and global pop stardom. Comprised of 21- and 20-year-old Heather Golden and Emma Rose Jenney, Beau proudly composes and performs sincere, confessional songs petitioning the higher powers. Love, deity, despair, whatever, whoever Beau sings for, live audiences cannot resist.

Today, I’m on the phone with the two songwriters; I imagine, pure fiction, of course, the girls keep their flowing hair perpetually unfettered, perhaps they listlessly lounge on a white-sheeted, high-posted bed in a state of Wes Anderson-esque sublime symmetry (see: Beau’s Nautico-directed video for “One Wing”). “We are working all the time, finding shows, getting ready for our tour in Europe,” says Golden. But of course, these Greenwich Village-raised gal pals are busy. Success in the digital age carries an element of motion sickness—a need to be everywhere simultaneously. But soundwise, Beau keeps it strictly analog—trusting lyrics and melody, not aesthetics and affectations, will define them.

“Some people don’t like to say they’re just acoustic,” says Jenney, but Beau’s as comfortable presenting their material live with merely voice and guitar as having a live band join them on stage. “We like to give both of those worlds freedom,” adds Golden. Sure, the backing band helps to sonically equivocate their recorded material. Take “C’mon Please” off their Beau EP. Halfway into the lead track off their recording debut, Beau shamelessly rocks out in Alanis Morissette fashion, crying, “Falling down to knees, oh won’t you come on please!” But desire needs no synthesizer, or even an amplifier necessarily. A plea will always be a plea, yeh?

The pair met in elementary school and became close by age 11; Golden and Jenney admit they’re also an extension of their mothers’ friendship. Golden has been modeling for years as a side hustle, Jenney performed ballet and appeared in sketches with Dave Chappelle. Together as Beau, the duo has worked with creatives like Gia Coppola, photographer Ryan McGinley, and acclaimed design team Ahonen & Lamberg. Currently, Beau’s debut LP is slated for release in March 2016.

Fashion is embracing the duo’s sincerity, too. Beau rocked, yes, with guitar and emotion, the Chloé SS16 show at Paris Fashion Week. It comes as rare rejection to today’s pan-synthetic, pan-ambient electronic pop. When I ask about Gen Z, and suggestions of certain digital distrust, Golden drops the mic, saying “You can only go to two million followers, and then what do you do?” Jenney adds that people in Beau’s peer group are all creative, all collaborative, and that they favor spending time together, playing music, just hanging out. “Now we talk about doing things the old way. Like things have really changed,” says Golden, adding that despite the trends, acoustic music isn’t going to die. “It’s always going to be there because it’s part of history. People think that things are going to change with the evolution of technology, but I think that underneath it all is what we all love, the nitty gritty and the honest and raw truth.” Aleatoric connection. Brian Eno once stated that “lyrics are really the last very hard problem in music.” But for Beau, solving the problem seems easy. The only issue now is getting this alluring intimacy to the physical spaces so demanding it.

Photographer: Eric Guillemain for 2bmanagement.com.

Stylist: Amarsana Gendunova for judyinc.com.

Hair: Cécilia Romero for thewallgroup.com using RENE FURTERER.

Makeup: Mayia Alleaume for thewallgroup.com using AVENE.