Los Angeles’ Grouplove blend a quirky, ’90s-style indie rock sensibility with a spirited, arena-ready roar. It’s a sound they debuted on 2011’s Never Trust a Happy Song, which spawned the number one Billboard Alternative Songs Chart hit “Tongue Tied.” They have continued to straddle mainstream and indie success, playing festivals around the globe and remaining Top 20 Billboard Alternative chart regulars with albums like 2013’s Spreading Rumours and 2020’s Healer. In March 2021, Grouplove returned with their surprise fifth album, This Is This.
Grouplove first came together in the late 2000s around the talents of Hannah Hooper, Christian Zucconi, Sean Gadd, Ryan Rabin (son of Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin), and Andrew Wessen. New Yorkers Hooper and Zucconi, through sheer kismet, forged a friendship with the latter three members while attending an art residency in Greece on the island of Crete. Before returning to their myriad homelands, the future quintet members began hashing out plans to meet up again and put some of the music they had been working on to tape, resulting in whirlwind trips to Rabin’s Los Angeles studio, where the five friends decided to make their relationship official. Grouplove’s eponymous debut EP was released by Canvasback in 2010.
While touring alongside Florence + the Machine early the following year, Grouplove managed to finalize plans for their debut full-length album, Never Trust a Happy Song, which appeared later that fall. The album peaked at number 75 on the Billboard 200 and featured four singles, including “Colours,” “Lovely Cup,” “Itchin’ on a Photograph,” and “Tongue Tied,” the latter of which proved a breakthrough success, landing at number one on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart.
Paper Towns [Music from the Motion Picture]They returned with their second full-length album, Spreading Rumours, in 2013. Buoyed by the single “I’m with You,” the album hit number 21 on the Billboard 200 and number seven on the Top Rock Albums chart. The following year, Gadd left the band and was replaced by bassist Dan Gleason. Grouplove’s song “No Drama Queen” was included on the soundtrack to the 2015 film Paper Towns.
Big MessIn 2016, they released their third studio album, Big Mess, which included the single “Welcome to Your Life.” Produced by Phil Ek, the album found the band further embracing a more sophisticated sound and writing about their lives after the birth of Zucconi and Hooper’s first child. Following their own world tour, Grouplove hit the road in support of Imagine Dragons in early 2017, releasing an EP, Little Mess, in May of that year. The group’s fourth album, Healer, arrived in 2020 and was heralded by the single “Deleter.” The album featured production by both TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek and Malay. Released exactly one year later, Grouplove’s fifth album, This Is This, explored themes of angst and anxiety.