Don’t Make Me “Beg”: Perth’s Joan & the Giants Ache with Unrequited Love in a Bold, Breathtaking Anthem

Joan and the Giants © Isabelle Haubrich
Joan and the Giants © Isabelle Haubrich
Heavy and hard-hitting, vulnerable and exposed, Joan & the Giants’ fiery anthem “Beg” aches with the weight of unrequited love as the Australian band dwell in a space of passion and pain.
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Stream: “BEG” – Joan & the Giants




Like the final call in a relationship, when the stomach sinks, the muscles cramp, and the air becomes thick and hard to breathe…

So often, we leave a relationship with essays’ worth of words unspoken. The emotions that we bottled up; the thoughts and comments we kept to ourselves; the topics we avoided discussing, or rehashing, or engaging another time. Communication tends to break down in tandem with our feelings, but often one of us is still trying to make things right; to work it out, before it’s too late.

So what if, before the end came and swallowed us whole, we laid everything out in the open: Giving voice to our innermost feelings, saying aloud those words we’d never said, and sharing our bare, raw, truest selves? Joan & the Giants’ new single is love’s final stand: That last ditch effort to throw all your cards on the table and say, with no frills attached, I still love you and I still want to make this work. Heavy and hard-hitting, vulnerable and exposed, “Beg” aches with the weight of unrequited love as the Australian alt-pop / indie rock band dwell in a space of passion and pain.

BEG - Joan & the Giants
BEG – Joan & the Giants
I built these walls around
My paper heart
Now your words have
torn those walls apart

This bed is lonely, two empty bodies
This little place was my paradise
Now it’s just cheap furniture & loaded dice
I don’t want to lose this
but I hate the excuses
Stand up!
Tell me like you mean it
Your heart, is it really in this?
Don’t make me beg for your love
Don’t make me beg for your love

Very seldom does unrequited love come alive in such a catchy and cathartic package – but such is the magic of Perth-based band Joan & the Giants. Independently released November 9 (and following a very special showcase at BIGSOUND 2023), “Beg” marks a fresh, fiery, and welcome return for the four-piece of Grace Newton-Wordsworth, Aaron Birch, Riley Sutto, and Liam Olsen. Over the past four years, Joan & the Giants have built a strong following throughout their native Australia and across the oceans thanks to powerful lyrics, evocative performances, and a dynamic, utterly irresistible sound.

Joan and the Giants © Isabelle Haubrich
Joan and the Giants © Isabelle Haubrich



Their latest single follows two tracks the band put out earlier this year – May 2023 saw the release of the spirited rock anthem “Cool Kid,” and July gave us the brooding, heavy-hearted power-ballad “Sleep Alone.” “Beg” is actually the A-side to a double-single, with the softly seductive “Narcissist” bringing up the rear as the single’s B-side.

From the moment “Beg” starts – with a dramatic drum beat, smoldering guitars, and glistening keys picking up a warm, wondrous melody – Joan & the Giants make their intentions clear: They want this song to be the soundtrack to our heartbreak, and all the emotional reckonings that come our way. It may be deeply intimate and brutally honest, but “Beg” is big, bold, and built to be larger-than-life. The band describe their new song, which enjoyed a triple j debut this week, as being “final call in a relationship, when the stomach sinks, the muscles cramp, and the air becomes thick and hard to breathe.” It’s a paralyzing story of unrequited love, filtered through sprawling, fuzzed-out guitars, glistening synths, and Grace Newton-Wordsworth’s emotive, impassioned, and breathtaking voice.

I take your hand and
Stare at your sad eyes
We’re scared to bring up the past
But I’m getting tired
What will it take?
I don’t wanna walk away
Stand up
Tell me like you mean it
Your heart, is it really in this?
Don’t make me beg for your love
Don’t make me beg for your love
Joan and the Giants © Isabelle Haubrich
Joan and the Giants © Isabelle Haubrich

“‘Beg’ was written about a breaking point in my own relationship where we had two choices; either fight to make it work, or it’s over,” Newton-Wordsworth tells Atwood Magazine. “You shouldn’t have to beg for someone’s love, and this song is about those last moments when you really don’t want to walk away from the person you love most in this world, but everything in your body and soul is telling you, you might have to.”

“We wrote and recorded ‘Beg’ with our producer Dylan Ollivierre over a few days in the studio, which was a great experience of going deeper lyrically and collaborating sonically. It started out as a soulful ballad, and ended up rock n roll. I love the punch to this song, and the chorus feels big, desperate and crunchy to me.”

“The B-Side is called ‘Narcissist,’ and I wrote this song on acoustic guitar and it was one of those experiences where the lyrics all came in about 10 minutes and the story was just there – it was complete, and in the studio it was recorded raw in 1-2 takes and we kept it quite stripped back, which allowed space for the vulnerability of the lyrics to powerfully creep through. This song is desperate, it’s sad, and it’s truly just about heartbreak and the loss of a relationship that I thought I’d have forever.”

Joan and the Giants © Isabelle Haubrich
Joan and the Giants © Isabelle Haubrich
I still want you
Even after all we’ve been through
Is there a spark here
I’ll wait in darkness for you

“Beg” relentless and unapologetically aches from the inside out.

There’s nothing worse than putting your heart out there and having it smashed to bits, but the beauty of this visceral song lies in the narrator’s willingness to be so vulnerable and upfront with their (soon-to-be ex) partner. We don’t get anywhere – in our relationships, and in our lives – if we bottle everything up and keep it to ourselves. Avoiding our problems means they never get solved, and nothing gets resolved – so if you love someone, nurture and grow that love by being fully present, honest, and forthcoming – even if it might hurt sometimes. Stand up. Tell them like you mean it.

Because Joan & the Giants are right; no one should ever have to beg for another’s love, and if you feel like you are begging, then it’s time for a relationship rethink.

Stand up
Tell me like you mean it
Your heart, is it really in this?
Don’t make me beg for your love
Don’t make me beg for your love

— —

:: stream/purchase BEG here ::
:: connect with Joan and the Giants here ::
Stream: “BEG” – Joan & the Giants



— — — —

BEG - Joan & the Giants

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? © Isabelle Haubrich


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