Grouplove Never Trust a Happy Song Review

Grouplove’s first full-length album, Never Trust a Happy Song, provides a dynamic range of different sounds. Like the Postal Service, album was a collaboration of several people in different parts of the world, working asynchronously on their music while vast distances apart. Some of the tracks do really well, others are lost in the experiment.

Since Grouplove’s EP was released, the group decided to move to LA to continue to turn out music. I really like that this disparate group of people met randomly through an artist residency in Crete and they had so much fun writing songs together that they decided to make it their full time gig.

The songs Grouplove writes tend to have an indie rock feel to them, but that sound varies widely. Some have a bit of a country twang and others are closer to dancy synth-pop.  The vocals are also changed up a lot – each song seems to have a different band member singing lead.  This leads me back to how the album was created, with the group collaborating at a distance. It’s my impression that each song has a different feel because a different band member was behind it and took the track in a certain direction before the others could could provide their input.  This really helps give each song its own identity – unlike some other albums where a lot of tracks are somewhat indistinguishable.  But this also provides for a somewhat disjointed sound. This can be good or bad, depending on which sound you like best from Grouplove.

Generally, I liked what I heard on Never Trust a Happy Song.  The album has a few solid songs, my favorite being “Colours.” The lead singer’s vocals are a bit whiny on this track, but it’s really the catchy rift and lyrics that make it a great song.  I must have listened to it for about an hour on repeat when I first came across it.  I haven’t done this with any song in a long time.

I was really busy this week, so I didn’t have a chance to setup a time for a listening party.  I hope that some of you had the chance to listen to the album and will leave your thoughts.

Stand out tracks: “Itchin’ on a Photograph,” “Colours”

Videos from the Album

“Colours”

“Tongued Tied”

“Itchin on a Photograph”

Bonus: Interview with the band

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