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In Short: Grouplove ‘Grouplove’

I first discovered LA outfit Grouplove mid last year with their insanely catchy song Colours. Since then they’ve released a surprisingly powerful official music video for the same song, as well as this, their debut self-titled EP. It’s a record full of happy songs and energetic choruses. While the difference between the singles and the filler is very noticeable, all up it is still an incredibly strong first offering that is already on the way to garnering the band a deserved international following.

Grouplove are one of the lesser-known names on the enormous Splendour In The Grass bill, however they’re also one of the acts I’m most excited for. This music is refreshing and exhilarating. Lead single Colours best typifies this, with a driving rhythm very reminiscent of fellow Splendour artists Modest Mouse. This can only be a good thing, and the song packs plenty of punch in a summery and innocent way (until, that is, you watch the video clip).

The other standout song on the EP is Don’t Say Oh Well, a track structured around a frantic acoustic guitar riff and lead singer Christian Zucconi’s gravely vocals. Yet again it’s a song that is deceptively carefree and happy however- when you listen to the lyrics, it’s actually about leaving everyone and everything you know behind and searching for some greater meaning in the wider world: “Waited enough to find the truth, the pain, again then say oh well. Don’t say oh well”.

While these two songs are easily the strongest on the EP, this isn’t to say that the rest of the record offers nothing. Get Giddy is a fun little ballad-style track to close the EP, and Naked Kids has already received plenty of radio airplay here in Australia, telling the story of an archetypal summer roadtrip.

All in all this is a simply fantastic debut EP from a band very much on the rise right now. While on its surface it appears as sunny, naive, and youthful, there is in fact a decided sense of longing and even loss to this EP. This isn’t a bad thing: in fact it’s almost a welcome change from other one-dimensional summer songs. This EP can still soundtrack your roadtrips, but there’s plenty of introspection and more sombre moments hidden in the acoustic guitars and upbeat rhythms.

As Grouplove themselves have said, ‘never trust a happy song’.

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