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ALBUM PREMIERE: L.A. Up-and-Comers Grouplove


We’ve been digging L.A. quintet Grouplove’s sunny, folk-tinged pop songs for nearly a year now, from their breakthrough single “Colours” (and its provocative video), through noteworthy appearances at SXSW, Lollapalooza, and Outside Lands, and, now, into the release of their debut album, Never Trust a Happy Song, which arrives Sept. 13 — and is streaming in its entirety, exclusively, right here.

We asked each member of Grouplove — a close-knit bunch that formed in a picturesque artists colony in Greece then lived together in drummer Ryan Rabin’s L.A. home to write what became Never Trust a Happy Song — to tell us about a particular track on the album, and why it’s significant to him/her. Here’s what they had to say.

Christian Zucconi (vocals, guitar) on “Love Will Save Your Soul”
“[Keyboardist-vocalist] Hannah [Hooper] wrote this after we got into what I think was our first real fight after moving to L.A. [they are a couple], and it was the first song she ever wrote on the guitar. I was pretending to sleep while she was working on it, and was thinking to myself, ‘Man I hope she is recording this so it’s not lost in the morning,’ but I was being too proud and silly to say anything. When we woke up the next day, I was like, ‘Did you happen to record what you were working on last night?’ She smiled and played it for me over the stereo.”

Hannah Hooper (keyboards, vocals) on “Naked Kids”
“It was the middle of a New York winter. I had moved my painting studio from Brooklyn to a friend’s summer house in Long Island with the hope I would be more inspired away from the city. Christian drove out to surprise me. We ordered a pizza, smoked a joint, and pretended it was summer. We wrote the lyrics on the pizza box, which we managed to save and bring with us to L.A. I guess summer is a state of mind.”

Andrew Wessen (guitar, vocals) on “Spun”
“This song is about my brother, who withdrew from the world and moved to a small Mexican fishing village in southern Baja. For over a year he slept in a gutted transit bus with no running water or bathroom. I only heard from him a few times during that period and often wondered if he was alive or not.”

Ryan Rabin (drums) on “Tongue Tied”
“This song stemmed from a piano riff Christian brought to practice one day. We were all drawn to it. We were sort of writing it at the same time as we were recording it, which is a crazy but fun process. From that original piano riff, it turned into this euphoric electronic dance number to which we all like to dance around from time to time, wearing neckties around our heads. Weird, I know.”

Sean Gadd (bass, vocals) on “Chloe”
“I wrote this song sitting at a bus stop in West London, getting shelter from the pouring rain.It’s a song about losing your inhibitions and trying new things.Still waiting for the bus.”