Wyldest, aka London-based songwriter Zoe Mead, has a new album called Monthly Friend arriving at the end of May, and following lead single “Hollow” she returns today with “Beggar”. She explains its origins, saying:
“Beggar’ was written at a time when my insomnia got particularly bad after I’d read The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. I was thinking about a theory he’d referenced called ‘Prisoners Dilemma’; a paradox where two people are acting in their own interests for a mutual outcome.
“It’s related to evolution in the sense that we all enter into relationships with others based on our own decision as to whether it will provide a safe environment for our genes. ‘Beggar’ is about survival of the fittest, I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine stuff – like we protect and love those who protect and love us – as a mutually beneficial thing.”
Although it’s made out to be a cynical concept in Mead’s quote, the mutual assuredness becomes something sparkling and heartfelt in Wyldest’s song. Despite the sanguinity of the song’s shimmering guitar, “Beggar” is ripe with conflicted feelings from the singer, and it’s a much more emotionally complex song than its breeziness would first have you believe. “It’s easier to just pretend, so I lie to you,” she confesses, yet this doesn’t feel like a betrayal – rather a calculated risk to preserve everyone’s feelings. Again proving that she can lift heavy concepts with her featherweight indie sounds, “Beggar” gives the songwriter space to show off her fluttering and darting vocal abilities, and how she uses that dynamism to subtly reveal the potency of the emotions bubbling in her words.
Fri 21 May – Manchester, Factory251 Sat 22 May – Liverpool, Grand Central Sun 23 May – Stockton, Georgian Theatre Mon 24 May – Birmingham, Castle & Falcon Thu 27 May – London, Oslo Fri 28 May – Bristol, Bristol Beacon Sat 29 May – Southampton, Joiners Sun 30 May – Brighton, Hope & Ruin