Grouplove "Colours"

Never trust a happy song.

Tuneage // Cristina Black // 09/19/11
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Myles Pettengill III

If you don’t mind having an epically jubilant tune swirling around in your head Arcade Fire-style, dare to check out this sticky track. It’s the centerpiece of the debut album, from the L.A. band Grouplove. You can take their name literally, by the way. Judging from a recent conversation with singers Christian Zucconi and Hannah Hooper, when they finished each other’s sentences and gushed about their chemistry, the quintet is a truly democratic entity based on mutual adoration.

The band met at an art colony on the Greek island of Crete, and right away, it was on. “We all fell in love with each other,” says Zucconi. “Every Friday we would meet in this courtyard and pass a guitar around.” Hooper chimes in, “We would yell: group! It was the only way we could describe our excitement for that random encounter.” For her part, Hooper wasn’t a musician at all until her time abroad. She went there a painter, and left a singer and songwriter, although she still picks up the brush often, most recently to create the band’s album cover. “I approach them both the same way,” she says of her two media. “Although you don’t have to paint in front of hundreds of people, so it was overwhelming at first, getting on stage. I blacked out!”

Other than the attendant nerves, everything felt good immediately for the band, and they saw signs of conventional success right away when Atlantic Records came knocking and put them to work on their full length—they had already released a self-titled EP—produced by their drummer Ryan Rabin and out in September. About the name of the album, it was an inside joke introduced by bassist Sean Gadd, but it’s also worth noting that “Colours,” for all its upbeat choruses and sunny harmonies, is a song about a man desperately in need of some cheering-up. “We really are a happy band,” Hooper explains, “but not everything in our songs is happy.”

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Originally published in October/November 2011

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