It’s been a long time coming for Beth McCarthy. A long way from her teenage appearance on The Voice, she seems to have found not only her true identity but also a unique sound which may continue to elevate her to the mainstream.

Beth gained TikTok fame and a surge in popularity following the release of the emotive ‘She Gets the Flowers’ in 2021. Now in 2024, she’s avoided becoming yet another ‘sad girl’ pop artist. Instead, she is evolving into being a voice for the LGBTQ+ community with her proud outspoken bisexuality which is expressed in her most recent releases.

IDK How To Talk To Girls

In the middle of a UK and European tour, Beth explained the appearance at Live at Leeds was special with it being the most local to her hometown of York. However, she could not resist excitedly telling the crowd that she was appearing at BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend the next day.

Rocking a fittingly bright pink scratch plate on her guitar, Beth opened with the tender ‘What Do You Call It?’. But she really kicked the crowd into action with recent hit single ‘IDK How To Talk To Girls’. 

Beth has impressively polished vocals which have always been her trademark. However the moments where she stands out are the honest reflective moments which make her so relatable. Lines such as ‘I never took it further than an Instagram like’ feel so genuine in their delivery. Her songs come across as real stories from Beth finding her confidence and true self.

First, Best, Hottest…

She acknowledged that Live at Leeds is a family friendly festival by describing the next track of ‘First, Best, Hottest…’ as being a song about having a really good cuddle. Say no more.

Where Beth has really evolved in her career is her increasing range of genres. This sultry track oozed with a new found liberty in sexual identity. Far away from her acoustic singer-songwriter roots, this could easily be a song for Dua Lipa or RAYE.

Inviting the crowd for its first real sing along moment, Beth launched into the defiant MARINA influenced ‘You Ruined Love’. However the full crowd then joined in with her stripped back cover of ‘Teenage Dirtbag’. It felt like a fond nod back to her acoustic pub gig days.

She’s Pretty

Quickly back to new material, Beth showcased the recently released ‘Good Bi’. After a nod to Blur’s ‘Girls and Boys’, Beth truly announced who she is. Particularly with the chorus of ‘I get what I want when I’m anyone’s type, how can anybody hate a good bi?’

Closing out the set was the first single from the new era of Beth, ‘She’s Pretty’. There is definite Olivia Rodrigo influence with the stabbing guitars and belted words of ‘Fine, cool, she’s pretty cool’.

The length of her set list was always going to be limited with a mid-afternoon festival slot. However, it seems notable that the popular emotional tracks ‘She Gets the Flowers’, ‘Omg Did She Call Him Baby?’ and ‘If You Love Med Right’ were absent.

Sorry TikTok sad girls, a new Beth McCarthy has arrived. Out are the relationship breakup songs, and in are the ‘gay panic’ anthems for fellow bisexual girls and everyone else.

Sam Campbell
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