L.A.-based five-piece Grouplove are a band to watch in 2011, thanks to the arty blend of freak folk, cinematic indie rock, and unabridged energy on their self-titled debut EP. Watch the premiere of their new video for the set’s best song, “Colours,” below!
While the up-and-coming band is among a pack of rising SoCal indie bands (Dawes and Family of the Year are two others to watch), their formation traces its roots back to NYC — and Greece. Frontman Christian Zucconi and keyboardist-singer Hannah Hooper met in the Big Apple and hit it off, so much so that Hooper invited her new pal to a summer artist’s residency in Greece that she was attending. There, they met the rest of their bandmates: bassist Andrew Wessen, who was on a surfing trip, drummer Ryan Rabin, and British guitarist Sean Gadd, who were both on vacation.
“It was a really special way to form a band — we were friends first, before ‘a band,'” Zucconi tells SPIN. “We never planned to be a band. When we recorded the EP, it was just for fun.It was just going to be one song, and then after that one song we were like, ‘Wait, this is really cool and special. Let’s cancel our flights back to the East Coast.'”
The video for “Colours” really captures this young band’s essence. Shot in a national park near Calabasas, Calif., the tribal-themed clip matches the exuberant, Where the Wild Things Are vibe of the track. In gorgeous, sun-drenched running sequences, the band members cavort after rescuing Zucconi from death by hanging– at least, for a moment — at the hands of some unsavory characters.
Swinging from a noose wasn’t terrifying for Zucconi alone. “I actually sent photos from the shoot to my mom and dad,” he tells SPIN. “My mom couldn’t even look at the still of me hanging; it bothered her so much.”
Zucconi and Rabin credit Hooper with much of the video’s artistic vision, and love her fresh perspective; the painter and graphic designer had never been in a band before. “Hannah did all the costumes herself,” says Rabin. “The visual presentation is always really important, and we tend to divert to Hannah’s opinions on that stuff. She tells us when shit sucks.”
What doesn’t suck: the trajectory for Grouplove’s 2011. They’re putting the finishing touches on their debut full-length, which they’re hoping to have out in May via Canvasback/Atlantic, and, after touring the country with bands like Florence + the Machine and the Joy Formidable in late 2010, they’re settling in for a month-long residency at L.A.’s Bootleg Theatre. Click here for more info.
A re-release of the band’s debut EP arrives in stores Jan. 25.
WATCH: Grouplove, “Colours” / Directed by Jordan Bahat/Toy Human