On the Radio: Grouplove

This song has been invading my ears all summer on my battery operated FM radio that I use to listen to the local alternative station at work. I was indifferent at first, as I often can be when I hear something really catchy that doesn’t seem right off have substance. At this point, I  really like this song and the band themselves seem like free loving hippie types whose goal is more to have a good time than to change the world. After what seemed like an eternity of political ads and other propaganda, this seems even better in the post election glow.

The lyrics remind me of high school and that first girl you meet with whom you are so enamored that you can barely talk  unless you are on drugs as the video for “Tongue Tied” implies. Even today, I will occasionally meet a girl who turns my normal well spoken self into a blubbering idiot who can barely construct one cohesive sentence and will either talk too much or not at all.

The first lyrics of “Take me to your best friend’s house, drive around the round about” literally flash me back to parties when parents were out of town and somebody got a couple thirty racks of Bud Light with everyone throwing up at some point. Drunken debauchery right in the middle of suburbia.  As irresponsible and downright stupid as these events could get, I feel a little nostalgia towards the naivety of youth. Am I getting old? At least we never had dub step music.

Grouplove is a young band out of Manhattan and Los Angeles, formed when the members all met each other at an artist’s retreat in Crete. It took another year but they eventually got together and played. Their drummer, Ryan Rabin, had access to a recording studio out in L.A. so the rest of the band trooped out there and recorded some music. Now here is the funny connection.

Rabin more than likely has access to a studio because his father is Trevor Rabin who was the guitarist for Yes in the 80’s and wrote their massive radio hit “Owner of  Lonely Heart”. It’s well known that I love Yes, albeit I’m not crazy about that song or that era because I am a devout fan of the 70’s progressive grandeur. I do like the connection though and even if it’s not their best song, it’s still Yes.

Grouplove is a band of dirty fun loving hippies who can party, according to the DJ on the local alt station anyway. I mostly like them because they sound different and have an offbeat look. They have a sort of jangly alt rock sound that really appeals to me.  I am sort of seeking out newer tunes as of late because a friend brought it to my attention that I listen to almost zero modern music. There must be a way to strike a balance between the old music I love and new music being put out.

Grouplove just put out another single that I really like called “Itching on A Photograph”. Sometimes in the car, I can actually sing and hit the repeating title phrase and it really makes me stoked as I am trying to learn to sing to do back-ups for the band. Grouplove keeps making these songs that evoke high school feelings for me and for the first time in my life, they are not negative ones. Maybe my growing older is a good thing? Anyway, I hope you enjoy these songs if you haven’t heard them and you will be hearing from the Brothers J again real soon.

3 comments on “On the Radio: Grouplove

  1. theelderj says:

    I kept meaning to say something about this song all summer. It really reminds me of some New Pornographers’ stuff. But I do agree about the nostalgia component. Somehow they totally nail the atmosphere of an adolescent house party in the sticks or suburbia.

    And, because I am a profligate, I am going to buy the album shortly.

  2. […] I just never got around to buying one and have subsisted thus far on borrowed iPods and a small FM radio that I’ve probably had for a […]

  3. […] Grouplove is kind of like this game for me  but with quite a bit more going on here. The music is very simple and unrefined yet cool and very catchy, kind of like a less morose version of the Pixies. Their drummer Ryan Rabin is the son of one of the drummers from Yes which gives him major points with me. Lastly, I find the flannel plus leather pants look on the female singer pretty hot. […]

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