You know that feeling you get when you hear a song that you connect with right away, and you feel like it’s either a big hit already or going to be one? Then, you discover the group, and realize they got plenty more of those. It happened to me with Grouplove, and specifically their song, ‘Tongue Tied.’
It’s a great feeling. We wish it was every day we could have a feeling of knowing awesome new music perfectly suited to our tastes. It seems, though, the feeling only comes around so often, but maybe that’s how it’s meant to be with great music. We can’t be bombarded with tremendous new acoustics day after day after day, or we would end up taking the music for granted, and not giving it the attention it deserves.
Grouplove is special, and all their fans know it. Their blend of harmonies with an edgy male lead vocal, a well-tuned female backup vocal, keyboards, drums and guitars are melodic, explosive and uniquely symbiotic. The band formed at an artist’s enclave on the island of Crete in 2011. It’s a five-member band that has changed out a couple of its members over the life of the band, so far.
The two voices of the band are life-partners, Hannah Hooper (keyboards) and Christian Zucconi (guitars). They have been firmly entrenched with the band throughout, so the sound has stayed consistent through five studio albums.
# 10 – Let Me In
Their song, ‘Let Me In’, made it in to the soundtrack of the movie The Fault In Our Stars. Hooper sings soulfully for a good minute, as the pace of the song creeps up. Then, Zucconi adds his falsetto solo, and the two begin to sing off each other. The lyrics are set to match the mood of the movie which pairs two teenagers who met in a cancer support group. This was a highly rated movie, and the song matches both the seriousness and funny aspects of the movie.
# 9 – Colours
The first single from their first album, Never Trust A Happy Song, is ‘Colours.’ Right away, we can tell Grouplove is not going to be held back. They know their screams are in tune, which is kind of a rarity. They know they have something not a lot of other bands have, as the male and female vocals balance each other out. They make a mark with this song, as they sing “We call it…life.”
# 8 – Welcome To Your Life
Hooper sings the lyric “We’re Back in Business.” This song is the first single from their third album, Big Mess. As the dynamic continues between the soulful voices of Hooper and Zucconi, we are reminded of how great the music is with the solid drumming, guitar harmonies and keyboard support. Then, as it all slows down, Grouplove gets the groove going busy again. This is one of their signature moves.
# 7 – Shark Attack
With this song, the band blends lyrics and harmonies similar to They Might Be Giants. But, it is the forcefulness of their chorus that differentiates them and makes them so distinctive. It’s Hooper’s turn to be slow and soulful on this tune. She sings beautifully, and the band backs her as the song jams consistently.
# 6 – I’m With You
This song just kind of sneaks up on you. This is a hard rocking band. And, they are willing to let the music speak for itself, which is what they do best on this song. The band comes together for moments vocally to be heard “Ah ah ah, oh oh oh, with you.” It’s a genius lyric for its prescience, as it brings catchiness to the song.
# 5 – Deadline
From their newest album, This Is This, made in 2021, Deadline is a song that sees the band branching out in its depths as a band. The song with a consistent drumbeat is the same Grouplove, but with efforts to be a tiny bit on the hip-hop side of things. It’s the band with the same high jinks for music making.
# 4 – Borderlines and Aliens
It’s the guitar intro, Dude. This song shows us the sublime talents of the band, including the incredible voices of Zucconi and Hooper. The bass guitar gets its time to show off, as well. The balance that the band pulls off of staying together on the vocals as the crash of guitars and drums comes about is true dedication on their part.
# 3 – Ways To Go
This is the group’s second biggest all-time hit from their second album, Spreading Rumours. It’s interesting how the two singers are able to sing off each other, when one goes deep, the other goes falsetto. It doesn’t matter who, because they are both capable of changing their voices from the highest octaves to the deeper end. And, the music sounds great.
# 2 – Itchin On A Photograph
If you have a chance to view Grouplove live, go for it. This band rocks even better live in my opinion. This song is an example of the band drifting to their highest limits. I keep mentioning the voices of Zucconi and Hooper, and it’s because they aren’t afraid of taking chances. As great as the music is, it’s the voices that can’t be ignored. The guitar hook here is fantastic.
# 1 – Tongue Tied
The number one song leads us to their biggest smash hit, “Tongue Tied.” With a collective yell, the song begins. And, the lyric “Take me to your best friend’s house…” is stuck in your head forever. Then, in the middle of the song, Hooper’s hip hop leanings become obvious as she croons her solo. The band comes alive again and again to deliver the goods of a great song.
Top 10 Grouplove Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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