Stream: Beginners, ‘Gangsters or Lovers’ and ‘What We Are’

Beginners (Photo by Danielle Spires)
Beginners (Photo by Danielle Spires)

Electro-pop quartet Beginners come out swinging on their sophomore EP “Pleaser,” due Sept. 16. The first single “Gangsters or Lovers” is a combination punch of guitar riffs, bubbling synth, electronic beats and frontwoman Samantha Barbera’s audacious attitude, the latter cultivated when she fronted the punk band Holy Fever. Formed in 2014 by the singer/bassist and her ex-Malbec bandmate Nick Ruth, Barbera is now backed by guitarist Neeraj Kane, drummer Jason Walker and keyboardist Honor Nezzo. Beginners’ self-titled 2014 EP featured the single “Who Knows,” which wriggled its way into TV shows and commercials. The new single was made with producer Carlos Chairez (the guitarist Kinky). The new EP’s second single “What We Are” finds its roots in Barber’a childhood in Indiana. “When I was growing up, my mom struggled financially and we were forced to live off of food stamps,” she told Interview, where the song premiered. “Despite being poor in an otherwise wealthy town, she always instilled an impenetrable sense of confidence in me.” That confidence carries over to the music, yes, along with a subversive playfulness. Director Todd Cooper’s video for the first singer stars the band, special effects and Popsicles, with a cameo by a cute dog who, regrettably, is uncredited.

||| Stream: “What We Are” and “Gangsters or Lovers”

||| Watch: the video for “Gangsters or Lovers”

||| Live: Beginners play Saturday, Aug. 20, at Chinatown Summer Nights.

||| Previously: “Who Knows”