Never trust a Happy Song?
“Don’t leave me tongue tied
Don’t wave no Good bye”
If only Grouplove had released their debut album just a little earlier at the beginning of summer 2011 as opposed to the end in September, I really believe this band would have been basking in all the indie glory that Foster the People and MGMT have grown so quickly accustomed to. Often compared to the Pixies, this L.A. based quintet has a familiar, alternative indie sound with just enough grit and sweetness to uplift even the darkest soul on a dreary winter day.
The story of how Grouplove came to be seems to get a lot of flak for being too perfect, too manufactured to be real. But sometimes fate has a way of working in your favour and all the puzzle pieces just come together all at once. Hannah Hooper first met Christian Zucconi in New York where both were becoming disillusioned with the opportunity for artists to break out. So they went off to an artist’s commune in Crete to rediscover their goals, and happened to meet kindred spirits whom turned out to be their future band mates and self proclaimed soul mates. Sean Gadd, Andrew Wessen and Ryan Rabin came together with Zucconi and Hooper over time as friends who shared a mutual respect and admiration for eachother’s talents. That led to recording a song together, and then a few more and then Grouplove was established. Their time spent in Greece turned out to be the most rewarding retreat of their lives.
After their release of a self titled EP, it was quite the anticipated wait before fans could finally hear a full length album. Luckily for me, a friend of mine visiting from Australia told me about this band I just had to check out. As soon as I heard Colours, I fell head over heels in love with their sound. Undeniably poppy with just the right amount of edge I knew this was a band whose album would be worth buying off of Itunes. The most popular tracks typically noted are the aforementioned Colours, opener Itchin on a Photograph, Tongue tied and Naked Kids. But my personal favourites are Betty’s a bombshell, Love will save your soul and Slow. These are amongst the slower tracks found on the album and you can’t really clap your hands along to them like the happier tracks…but that does not subtract from their charm. The album can’t be all happiness and glee.
Especially since they are often labeled as saccharine and sweet. It seems that Grouplove is expected to prove there is more to their sound than whimsical lyrics and harmonious upbeat melodies. However singing songs that are joyful and upbeat makes perfect sense for a group of struggling musicians who were friends first and then happened to form into a band. Zucconi himself has said “It’s so interesting how I’d struggled for so long in New York, but once I relaxed and let go, stopped trying so hard, that everything just fell into my lap.” I guess now that the missing pieces of the puzzle have all fallen into place it’s no wonder why this band is constantly smiling.