Beginners are an LA-based foursome who have made a perfect summer banger. From Samantha Barbera’s initial wail—”We’re lucky enough to find love/ but we’re young and we’re dumb so we lose it”—to the four-on-the-floor drum beat, to the crescendoing electronics that build toward the anthemic chorus, “Gangsters or Lovers” is sonic gold. What originally was recorded as a barebones rock track on Barbera’s ’73 Fender Mustang is now a blissfully coruscating dance track that should be on your pool party playlists right now.
Even though your instinct will be to get up and dance around to this jam, I urge you to watch the delightfully tongue-in-cheek music video, which simply features Barbera and the rest of the band enjoying popsicles on a humid, summer day. But instead of playing to the over-sexualized trope that this sort of video mocks, Barbera takes the power back to reveal a wee, little shirtless man beneath the frozen goodness. And after she asks the titular question for the final time–“Are we gangsters or lovers?”–she makes quick work of the popsicle dude and bites his head right off. Vicious.
Discussing how the track came together, Barbera explained, ” I had this hair-brained idea to have a man inside of a Popsicle I was eating, similar to a tootsie pop. We’re an independent band so it seemed daunting to pull off. But we are constantly surprised with what creative people, who won’t take no for an answer, can pull off!”
This is definitely one of the catchiest songs of the season, and the music video is extremely satisfying to watch. Let us know if you agree in the comments below and if you are a gangster or a lover. Also be sure to pick up their forthcoming Pleaser EP, which drops on September 16.
Matt Grosinger is the music editor of Nerdist and will be grooving to this one all day.