Grouplove is a band that formed out of mutual admiration when Hannah Hooper went to see lead vocalist Christian Zucconi perform at a local bar. The two hit it off and shortly after, the new couple went on an artists' retreat in Greece. There they jammed with countless musicians, eventually meeting the other three members of Grouplove: Andrew Wessen, Ryan Rabin, and Sean Gadd.
Three years later, Grouplove has released their full-length debut, Never Trust a Happy Song. This indie pop effort has all of the passion and intensity that inspired the individual musicians to join up originally. The album's title may bring to mind introspective, shoegaze songs about loss and rejection to the tune of bitterness. However, Grouplove delivers songs that are anything but downers.
Though the band sites the Pixies and Nirvana as influences, rather than submersing the distorted power chords in a dreary Seattle fog, the music shines in a bright summer sun. "Itching on a Photograph" starts the album with handclaps and a reverb-drenched sing-along chorus. "Tongue Tied" is a perfect party anthem, with the group shouting over a dance beat with subtle synthesizer fleshing out the sound. Even the darker tracks, like the chugging "Colours," are coated in warm melodies.
Never Trust a Happy Song is full of pop hooks, danceable grooves and high energy. Though the album is not particularly versatile — even when Hooper takes over the lead vocals, the sound is largely unchanged — and the lyrics are simplistic, it makes up for its lack of sophistication with pure fun. On "Betty's Bombshell," Zucconi sings "it's a sunny day; we should go away on a holiday." Never Trust a Happy Song would be the perfect album to bring on that holiday.