GROUPLOVE have a story that would put most bands to shame, an updated, rock-music Kerouac. Lead-singers Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi met in New York, took to Greece after only a few days, met the rest of the band (I'm paraphrasing here), began making music, ultimately tattooing the word, "GROUP" on their forearms before deciding to all throw away their private pursuits and move to Los Angeles to become a band. This means a lot to these five people. Zucconi stares at Hooper before their last song of the night at Los Angeles' famed Troubadour and kisses her flush on the mouth. It is a moment of raw, unfiltered emotion, something between the joy and lust of youth and people who have nothing to lose because they've given it all away.
Of course, if GROUPLOVE were just a dramatic story, a chance meeting of fresh-faced, agreeable people, it would end in that moment. As it happens, this story of mortgaged futures and unbridled hope comes with a stunning first single, an excellent EP and a next 12-months as bright as any band in the United States. On this night in LA, the band is tight and loud, with Zucconi's vocals alternating between the soaring yips from the Issac Brock catalogue and a richness and purity all his own. Over a seven song set the band will play 80-percent of their self-titled EP, plus a stunning version of new cut, "Close Your Eyes And Count To Ten" and a few others we presume will show up on a full-length in 2011. Zucconi works himself into a frenzy, pushing the limits of what this writer has ever seen anyone do while holding an acoustic guitar. All of this leads, nearly inexorably, to the band's best song and set closer, "Colours."
Predictably, "Colours" is a broadly cast, meta-analysis shot through the rosy hues of youth. Unpredictably, it might be the best unsigned song of 2010. As a visual intro, Zucconi kissing Hooper is one of those shocking moments that feels desperately appropriate after the fact. "Colours" proves stunning, complete with the band screaming, "We call it ... life!" in one of those this-is-everything moments that feel like you're being pushed back in your seat by the acceleration of an airplane. And that's what this is, the moment before take off for a band on the verge of something seriously big, having cut themselves loose all just to get up in the air.
Listen :: GROUPLOVE - "Colours"