LA-based indie pop band, Beginners, are back with Pleaser, a formidable follow-up to their 2014 S/T debut which garnered immediate recognition from the press, impressive tours with bands like Walk The Moon, and over 4 million streams on Spotify.
Following the success of the record, Beginners was featured in multiple commercial campaigns including, YouTube, RayBan, Miller Lite, Skullcandy and Europe's Douglas Cosmetics; and landed numerous high profile TV placements like New Girl and The Vampire Diaries.
Pleaser is an ode to the thin line between love and hate. Pulsing dance singles like "Gangsters or Lovers" leave no choice but to move to the contagious samples and guitar riffs. Front woman Samantha Barbera explains, "The original demo of 'Gangsters or Lovers' was just me and my verbed out '73 Fender Mustang guitar, channeling the vibe of old Billy Bragg records. When we brought the song to producer Carlos Chairez (guitarist in Mexico's Kinky) we ended up melding that rock 'n roll spirit with an electronic dance energy that we all loved."
The Black Keys meet Yeezus in the tongue-in-cheek revenge ballad "I F*cking Hate You." Samantha Barbera's bluesy vocal melody delivers sultry lyrics with a violent twist. "Run my fingers through your hair, tie a noose and kick the chair." Barbera describes it as a "Tarantino movie in a song; playing with a cartoonish notion of sex and murder." Underdog anthem "What We Are" pays homage to Barbera's childhood. "When I was growing up my mom struggled financially and we were forced to live off of food stamps. Despite being poor in an otherwise wealthy town, she always instilled an impenetrable sense of confidence in me. I still have vivid memories of riding my second-hand bike around my neighborhood, wearing a giant gold chain from the 70s that I took from my mom's jewelry box, feeling like I owned the streets." "Melting Into One," the hypnotic record closer, evokes the intoxicating power of young love. The rhythm carries listeners into a euphoric dream state as synths and guitars blend together creating a wall of sound reminiscent of Purity Ring and My Bloody Valentine.
Barbera redirects her affections with "Stereo", an ode to the love of records. Much like Billy Idol in the 80s classic "Dancing With Myself", Barbera shows that loneliness can be cured with a great song. "Dressed up nowhere to go. Just me and my stereo." "Stereo" is this summer's anthem for a party of one. Gritty dance track "Making Love to the Dead" reveals how passion can turn to pain in a soulsucking industry designed to churn out marketable hits. "It's complicated mixing art and business," says Barbera. "Authenticity isn't always the most profitable and chasing success can make you resent your own art. Ian MacKaye summed it up well when he said, 'I work so I don't need to make rent through my songs. If you're able to engage with music without needing it to provide for your welfare, then you're not beholden to anyone.'"