Thad Kopec’s newest single fits an album’s worth of ideas into an epic of lush instrumentation, transcendent crescendos and surprising sonic detours. A relatively new addition to the world of baroque pop, Kopec’s past material inflates acoustic folk music to cinematic proportions with his meticulous use of horns, soundscapes and powerful vocal melodies. “I Beg” retains enough of the emotional accessibility that defined 2014’s Nobel Neighbor and 2015’s The Ridge, but marks a major departure from Kopec’s old sound in favor of an expansive sonic odyssey.
“I Beg” is easily Kopec’s most eclectic song to date. Its nearly eight-minute run time spans intimate Celtic folk, swelling post-rock and hypnotic electronica, yet it loses none of the natural flow present in his more acoustic catalogue. Layered flutes over acoustic guitar and swaying six/eight rhythm start the song off. Kopec’s soothing voice riding the line between modern melodies and Celtic affectations, guide the listener through the song’s multiple dynamic and instrumental shifts. His knack for embellishing classical neo-folk with electronic sensibilities allows him to revel in his mythological and literary backdrop.
Rolling synths unexpectedly drop into a placid soundscape, and tension rises as acoustic guitars and flutes slowly build to, what seems to be the song's zenith. But instead, it collapses into heavily distorted synth and guitar with a nasty halftime groove. Kopec says, "'I Beg' is about the hidden things in our world that are central to who we are, but remain on the fringes of our common dialogue. In it, I wanted to ask questions of embodiment and mortality, and to explore the ambiguity of those realities."
Listen below and don't miss Kopec’s debut full-length, The Shadow and the Caster, out April 21.