This week’s quick hit is a little different, I know Grouplove already has quite a bit of attention for their two hits “Tongue Tied” and “Ways To Go” but I feel like that is only one side of the band. Most would probably assume like I did on my first couple listens of “Tongue Tied” that they were just another synth-heavy pop group, honestly until I got into the band’s other stuff, I thought they were pretty throw-away if this was their best song, but as sometimes happens the most popular singles and radio edits aren’t necessarily what a band really sounds like.
Take the party pop of “Tongue Tied” (which I now like) for example:
and compare it with the much more clean and alt-rock sound of “Itchin On A Photograph”
It could be a completely different band besides some similar vocals in parts. But the one similarity that really works for the band is the tangible amount of energy they put into each of these songs, even “Tongue Tied”s popy sound is covered in some throaty vocals bordering on grovely yodeling. Singers Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi’s raw and intimate styles are pull of both the energy and polish of these songs perfectly. This and their actual technical skill I found watching a live concert they did (link at the bottom) hooked me, and honestly I prefer some of the live versions to the studio recordings.
“Tongue Tied” takes the party-pop sound, perfects it in a chorus and adds it’s own unique taste to it. “Itchin On A Photograph” pulls all that synth heavy pop and brings in the drums and guitar and pulls the building verse and exploding chorus technique in perfect form with an amazing post-chorus. “Colours” pulls a similar style while bringing a much more driving sound, but the star here are the vocals that sound like Zucconi is singing for his life as he yells with throat-tearing intensity.
The hilariously video’d “Ways To Go” another one of their more pop songs, but with just the right amount of weird and an infectious chorus, the yelling of “I DIDN’T KNOW MY NAME” will stick in your brain for weeks. The last two songs are the two that just sound much better live to me for one production reason or another. “Borderlines and Aliens” is a song that has such attack that any of the reverb or strange mixing done to it actually take away from it. “Shark Attack” is a great rock song that honestly suffers from the overproduction of the studio version, it’s natural feel and energy disappear when the electronics are added in the studio version.
Grouplove is definitely worth checking out, they have an incredible range for song writing and incredible talent. But they also have an infectious energy that makes their music more honest and makes them a genuinely respectable band. If you’ve overlooked them like I initially did, give them a second shot.
As promised the amazing live footage, always nice when you can see a band can be equal parts electricity and dork(check out Hannah’s 10 seconds with the audience):
Exams are done, so expect a lot of posts from me soon.