Gliding across a musical spectrum, from the infectiously groove-laden "Itchin' on a Photograph" to the dance pop of "Tongue Tied," from the indie quirkiness of "Naked Kids" to the bubblegum pop of "Sunny Day," Grouplove clearly has a group love of all forms musical on its debut album, Never Trust a Happy Song. It's not surprising, given the geographical diversity of this quintet — two hail from the Lower East Side of New York, two from Los Angeles, and one from London — that formed on the Greek island of Crete during an artist retreat. From that point, the story becomes typical: Jamming ensued, songwriting commenced, and then everyone parted ways. But the bonds of friendship and collaboration pulled the group together again in L.A., where, in short order, Grouplove became the latest buzz band. Maybe it's by design — or not — but the band's influences are found all across the indie landscape, including flashes of Built to Spill, Modest Mouse, Arcade Fire, Death Cab for Cutie, Bright Eyes, and the jangly goodness of early R.E.M. in the mix. Yet it's how the band manages to convert those influences into crawl-into-the-ear-and-stay-there songs that allows Grouplove's dance-ready sound to take hold.
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