Beg Friend is the stage name for Joe Da Costa. It’s quite difficult to pinpoint down Beg Friend’s overall style and this EP is a real mixture. The overall mood is of that bedroom melancholy that indie-pop does so well – but it is also cinematic too.
That theatrical pose comes right out of the gate with ‘Slow Burner’. Its main thrust is an old cassette recording a 1960’s actor reading T.S. Eliot. Permeating around the recording is various broken noise effects to make the recording feel like a moon recording. It allows Beg Friend to move into airy electronica over the next two tracks. ‘For the Win’ and ‘Turning In Her Head’ both carry retro rubbery synths as the main melody maker. The former is more a sad lullaby whilst the latter has plenty of pop sensibility. Vocally and stylistically I’m reminded of Alex Wong. More specifically its Alex’s ‘A City on a Lake’ moniker. It’s the sad but soft vocal layering, light production and single focus on a musical drive and it works really well.
Beg Friend switches the synths for the acoustic instruments for ‘Rumpelstiltskin’. The gentle mix of glistening tuned percussion, sympathetic male vocals and folksy guitar rhythms melts the room. It feels sincere without ever being sickly. The short ‘Make Do’ rounds off the EP with a hint of Tom Rosenthal with happy twangs and cinematic pacing.
Beg Friend certainly knows how to make memorable and quirky songs and ‘The Make Shift EP’ certainly captures that mix of ramshackle intimacy and smooth professionalism. It makes the music really endearing. Those of you looking for a new indie songwriter and producer who holds the homemade sound close to their heart will find a lot to love with Beg Friend.
Recommended track: Rumpelstiltskin
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