When I heard Grouplove’s second album was due to be released soon, I was pretty surprised. It seems like only a few months ago that their debut album, Never Trust A Happy Song, blew me away (it was actually released in 2011, but I only discovered it after their Australian tour in late 2012). It was the soundtrack to my summer last year, and I loved every minute of it. Their high-octane, jumping around and screaming the lyrics kind of energy never failed to get me pumped for whatever it is I was doing, so I was pretty excited for their next album, Spreading Rumours, and also pretty nervous that I was going to be disappointed. I wasn’t though, thank goodness.
Grouplove are a genre-hopping, almost-but-not-quite indie band based in LA. Having met almost entirely at an artist’s retreat in 2009, the band found success pretty quickly.
They played their first ever show in May of 2010, and by the end of that year they had toured with Florence and The Machine and were recognized as one of Nylon Magazine’s top ten “Best New Bands of 2010”. They were signed with Canvasback/Atlantic Records that same year, and in 2011 co-headlined a tour with Foster the People, and made appearances at numerous festivals including Lollapalooza and Glastonbury. Since then, they’ve released their debut album and been a whirlwind of tours across the world.
Spreading Rumours is the perfect sophomore record. It’s a little more polished, a little bit less wild, but still very much a Grouplove album. As in their first, the songs are a little bit all over the place, but that’s not a bad thing. The lead single, Ways To Go, is the one track that is most like their previous singles. It a bit poppy, but also shows off frontman Christian Zucconi’s incredible vocal range, and above anything else, it’s FUN. Shark Attack continues in this vane, with its acoustic guitar, bass and steel drum intro, and use of a very juvenile sounding chorus. There are harder tracks, such as What I Know, with heavy use of electric guitars, crashing cymbals, and fuzzy beats. And there are more chilled tracks, such as Hippy Hill, with acoustic guitars and haunting calls in the background. The last track on the album is the only one that can truly be called mellow though, and is a great way to close such a high energy collection. “I’m going to bed early bird / Save the party for me”, Save The Party pleads.
Spreading Rumours is such a diverse collection of songs, there’s dance pop, indie folk, hard rock, and even a ukulele lullaby, Grouplove never fail to keep their fans guessing. Their sound is unlike anything else out there, and there probably aren’t many that would be game to imitate their uniqueness. Here’s hoping they start touring this album soon, because this kind of crazy, energetic music can only sound better live.
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