With delicate, slightly removed tones and saccharine sweetness tempered with an aptly cheeky ego, BETS takes to her self-titled debut EP with polish and wonder. This bi-coastal wunderkind delivers her brand of indie pop with her fourth glass of champagne in hand, embodying the night-gazing of New York and the beach parties of Los Angeles with effortless cool.
It is admittedly hard to retrieve an awful lot of information about BETS at this point and time, but perhaps that’s part of the charm of the young woman scooting across rooftops and absconding all-night parties with someone else’s date.
We do know that the songs of BETS come written be the singer and songwriting partner Christina O’Connor. And we also know that the EP features Ariana Murray (piano, keys, string arrangements), Daphne Chen (viola, violin), Aaron Espinoza (guitar, bass, percussion), and Derek Brown (drums). The aforementioned O’Connor provides backing vocals.
Things start with “I Love You, But,” a slinky tune supported by Murray’s ivory plunks and that nearly hip hop release BETS manages on the verses. She slashes the rhymes together with expert flow, but the sing-songy chorus and bridge draw Lana Del Rey to mind in all her “can’t have me” glory.
Then there’s the splendid “Make My Night,” which includes one of my favourite lines in “Lucky is the guy who occupies my mind.” This silky, string-supported piece is beautiful stuff, a contemplative slice of trancelike pop that heats up with lines like “I’m not easy, I’m easy to love.”
“You and I (Bonny and Clyde)” is a sweaty slice of awesome. “I supply the sex appeal, you supply the lies,” BETS sings over a trouncing beat and swelling strings.
“Rooftop Lover” swings things in a different but no less exhilarating direction, with a simple arrangement and its own brand of accidental longing. “I originally wrote the title about me and my songwriting partner who loved writing on rooftops, but then it turned into its own melancholy love story,” says BETS.
BETS accomplishes an awful lot in four songs, providing a vision of rooftop New York and sun-drenched Los Angeles in the same sex-infused breath. These moist, indistinctly affecting songs land well and BETS materializes from the bright lights and clammy air as an artist to take note of.