Imagine you haven’t seen a friend in a couple years. This friend would charm you with their infectious personality, brighten your day with their sunny rays of optimism and just make you feel good. Everything they did, you loved, and you were sad to see them go. But now they’re back. And it feels like they never even left.
This is the exact sentiment that Grouplove evokes in their new album Spreading Rumours. After two years of constantly replaying their hit-after-hit debut album Never Trust a Happy Song, I had been waiting anxiously for their next album. My expectations were high. After achieving mainstream success with “Tongue Tied” and indie-cred with almost every other track, Grouplove demonstrated an ability not many other groups posses; the melding together of the pop, rock and indie worlds. They’re able to churn out successful hits because of one simple formula—making the kind of music that they love, regardless of whether or not it fits into a genre.
And so when their second album dropped, I picked it up the first second I could. And the smiles returned in an instant.
Whenever a band that has done tremendously well on their debut, the sophomore album promises enormous amounts of pressure. This is where bands either make it or don’t. This is where they show their true artistic ability, staying power, and growth, or failure.
Luckily, Grouplove has done the former. They didn’t just repeat the same catchy, sunshine indie-pop sound but improved upon it. They put in a song like “Ways to Go,” their first single, that is sure to be a radio-friendly, dance all night jam, right next to seriously mature, rock songs like “Raspberry” and “Sit Still,” filled with guitar riffs and strong drum beats.
This ability to hone in their skills to balance their various sounds has and will only continue to benefit them. It allows for a 13-track, 51-minute album that has something for everyone. From a marvelous fusion of their signature indie-pop sound with hip-hop inspirations on one of my favorite tracks, “Shark Attack,” to the quirky and upbeat “Borderlines and Aliens,” they have shown their ability to produce an abundance of quality music that transcends any labels people might try to put on them.
While there has been criticism that their album feels too “grounded” and a little bit on the "safe" or boring side, I think that they are simply missing the point. Grouplove isn’t a band that is going to happily sit on their plateau of success. They continually push themselves to make more varieties of the music that they are passionate about, thereby creating tracks filled with love that we, the listeners, eat up with a hungry eagerness. Their light, refreshing, summertime feel will never be lost but they will always move forward. That’s what made this album so fantastic.
Yes, Never Trust a Happy Song was absolutely fantastic, honestly, I wasn't hooked on every single song on this album, at first. A few stuck out, but it took a few listens for my mind to open up and realize how sweetly addicting Spreading Rumours actually is. They didn’t just repeat themselves. They continued on their way, setting themselves up for a lasting success that only comes to those who can deliver.
So until your next album, Grouplove, I will be feverishly devouring Spreading Rumours and happily awaiting your return.
Images via Tumblr.