“This EP is a confession”, says Joe Da Costa, “it’s a piece that deals with owning up to the decisions and actions that have brought me shame, guilt, and regret. It’s also partly an apology to people that I have hurt. Throughout the work, I practiced being as authentic and honest with myself as possible”. This is how Beg Friend first describes his debut EP entitled The Make Shift.
The EP features a collection of tracks written in the last five years and spanning several distinct indie genres. A cathartic process that Joe ended up creating through early hours of many days when he felt he was the only one awake and could relate more with his loneliness. And this kind of honesty and sense of healing is exactly what The Make Shift transmits to the listener.
Starting off things with Slow Burner, a slowly but quickly evolving beat-based, electronic-infused track that reflects ambiance as much as a sort of predisposition of the EP. It features a sample from a tape Joe found at his parent’s house, a recording of the English actor from the 60s (Laon Maybanke) reading T.S. Elliot’s play “The Cocktail Party”.
For the Win follows Slow Burner with the same spirit but introducing Joe’s vocals in the EP. The first-ever single from Beg Friend is still echoing gorgeous and like a proper mix between an indietronic contemplation and a lyrical. “For The Win also demonstrates Beg Friend’s electronic-folk base and multiple layers that sound both dreamy and story-telling, heavily inspired in the poetic lyrics and constant vocals”.
Turning In Her Head introduces a gentle set of changes in Beg Friends debut EP in the sense that this is a track where the vocals are for the first time the standout. A bit Blake-ish, not afraid of experimenting through electronics and just with the necessary amount of artificial elements – enough to sound fresh and challenging, but not less than organic. The track sticks with the listener like a gentle modern story-telling. The electronic hooks towards the end showcase Beg Friend’s capacity to reinvent a song. Very engaging and contagious. The more you listen to it.
One of the great things about Beg Friend is the way all songs sound a bit distinct from each other. Rumpelstiltskin is more folk than any other track. Almost stripped of electronic elements, and highlighting a guitar diddling and Joe’s storytelling vocals, this is a beautiful song about acknowledging other’s value. Coming from the heart and very easy to love. A gentle modern lullaby.
The final short track – Make Do – continues the same path, it keeps the guitar-based melodies adding classical elements to it and slowly evolving to and from an ambiance background. It sums up the distinct dimensions of Beg Friends’ songs in his debut EP. And goes by like a breeze. One of those breezes that feel right every time.
The Make Shift is a gorgeous piece of art to let yourself be obsessed about. Smart and subtle in all its tracks, but also overwhelming in the way its layers are disposed in a very human-like way. And its honesty is as rare as beautiful.