Indie pop rock outfit Beginners began as nothing more than a bedroom writing experiment between old bandmates. After several years apart, Samantha Barbera and Nick Ruth found themselves reunited at LA’s Wiltern Theatre to support their former Malbec drummer in Foster the People. It was that night that Barbera, singer/songwriter and bassist in hardcore punk band Holy Fever, and Ruth who had been working as a producer with artists such as Mikky Ekko and Active Child, found themselves inspired to work together again.
By the end of the first night of songwriting, they knew that they were onto something special. In just a few months, they had written, recorded and mixed an entire record.
Released on March 24th, the five-track debut Beginners EP is modern indie at it’s best; upbeat and positive with a punchy rock edge. Drawing in electronica and darkwave elements, along with Barbera’s striking and versatile vocals, the EP is the very epitome of everything that’s hot right now.
Opening with ‘Ever Love’, the release jumps in with both feet. Eager and optimistic, it has all the energetic sunniness of the perfect beach party track, but carries along with it a slight shadow of brooding. It’s impeccably balanced and measured, and perfectly introduces this record from musicians who quite clearly know exactly what they’re doing.
‘Who Knows’ is a stand-out track which is currently available as a free download. Far more ballad-like than its predecessor, the track is light, beautiful, and truly romantic. If ‘Ever Love’ is you and your mates crammed into a photo booth, ‘Who Knows’ is an arty, black and white portrait of the person you love.
Bringing the EP further down the darkwave road, ‘Let Go or Get Dragged’ is a hyper-modern dance track, ‘So Close I almost Believed It’ brings the tempo back with an unusual mix of synthpop anthem and darkwave ballad, and closing track ‘If It’s Not Enough’ ends the EP gently, with a reflective, pensive electronica track with an air of cinematic epicness.
The Beginners’ EP is persuasive and confident, with a blend of enough genres to pull in a range of fans. Perfectly timed for the improving weather, this EP is going to be as essential at a beach party as flip-flops and a battered old guitar. It blends anthemic extroversion with graceful and understated narratives which can’t fail to hook listeners. What Beginners have offered up is filled with so much promise and potential that any future releases, along with their planned tour, will have a heck of a lot to live up to.