GROUPLOVE are an American indie rock band from LA formed in 2009. Their member’s are Hannah Hooper and now husband Christian Zucconi who tag team vocals plus Hannah plays the keyboard and Christian plays the guitar. Also Andrew Wessen who does backing vocals and some lead plus plays the guitar, Sean Gadd who slaps the bass, and Ryan Rabin on drums. They have 3 studio albums and one EP to date taking a few years off between their 2nd album Spreading Rumors and their 3rd album that just came out September 9th Big Mess due to the birth of Hannah and Christian’s daughter Willa Payne Zucconi.
Grouplove mix many kinds of musical styles together like indie rock, synth-pop, and alternative grunge rock. Starting out in 2009 they all met at a artist commune Hannah was going to and had invited Christian to come to after hearing his band ALOKE. Ryan Robbin and Andrew Wessen grew up in LA with Robbin being a music producer and drummer and Wessen being a surfer and guitarist. Sean Gadd is a songwritter and guitarist from London. After becoming fast friends at the artist commune Gadd, Wessen, Zucconi and Hooper went back home to pull some funds together to go to Rabin’s studio in LA a year later.
This was the start of the recording process from their self-titled EP Grouplove we they would release independently later that year. They started touring in May of 2010 with acts like Florence + the Machine before being recognized by Nylon as one of the “best new bands of 2010”. After this tour they were then signed to Atlantic Records they re-released Grouplove on January 25th of 2011. The band then went on a co-headlining tour with then new comers Foster the People and made appearances at many festivals including Lollapalooza and Reading and Leeds Festivals.
Later that year on September 13th, 2011 the band released their debut album Never Trust A Happy Song. They released many singles in support of the album including Colours, Tongue Tied, Lovely Cup and Itchin on A Photograph. Grouplove went on their headlining tour with Two Door Cinema Club and then went on tour with Young the Giant on their headlining tour. After touring with Young the Giant they went on their last tour and then did a collaboration with Manchester Orchestra on a song called Make It To Me.
In June 2013, they announced their second album Spreading Rumors and debuted their music video for the lead single Ways to Go. Then on September 17th, 2013 Spreading Rumors was released. They then went on their sold out US tour supported by the Australian band The Rubens. In late 2013, Grouplove started touring with Danial Gleason while Sean Gadd did other work on the side. At the time rumors went around saying Gadd had left the band but he said he was still in. In April of 2014, Sean Gadd tweeted “Thanks for all the love. Grouplove is family and still my favorite band. Sending love. GROUP”, leaving his status with the band up in the air. He then posted a video on Youtube called Dream With Me. In June of 2014, Sean Gadd tweeted a series of tweets about his status in the band, the last one officially confirmed his leaving of the band, “I’m so sorry I made a big mistake. I’m making an announcement of why I’m leaving grouplove forever x.” This was followed by a post on the band’s website officially announcing his departure.
In 2014 they did many festivals including Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Firefly and Coachella, and headlined the Honda Civic tour in late August/early September, supported by Portugal. The Man. Grouplove released a tour documentary entitled I’m With You and then made a song for the movie The Fault in Our Stars called Let Me In, and another song, “Underground”, to the 2012 Tim Burton movie Frankenweenie. In 2014 they made the title theme for the Netflix show BoJack Horseman and the song No Drama Queen for Paper Towns.
During this time between 2014 & 2016 Hannah and Christian gave birth to their daughter Willa Payne Zucconi. This past September 9th Grouplove came out with their third studio album Big Mess which I will review for you today.
How I got into GroupLove:
In 2011 their song Tongue Tied came on the radio every other song every other station. I liked the song but didn’t really see anything too special about the band. It wasn’t until their second album Spreading Rumors came out and I loved their direction on the album I went back and listened to more of their music. They became my band of hippies and I love them. PS Hannah & Christian use weed as a form of a writing aid to help write their songs (makes since if you’ve heard Hippie Hill lol)
Their current album Big Mess is so good & eclectic with their hippie jam anthems to grungy songs to soft songs with a message. Now I will say that this album does have a lot of non scene songs so be ready to just listen to this album for the singing, and instrumentation of it and less for the lyrics.
- *Welcome To Your Life: This was the first single that came out for this album. I love it. It sounds very much like their big anthems of their albums like Ways to Go & Tongue Tied where for the others. It’s also a very fun song with catchy lyrics and a great guitar solo by Christian.
- *Standing In the Sun: A fun little track.
- Enlighten Me: The drum is beat is amazing. This is one of their more slower songs.
- *Good Morning: The little rhyme Hannah does is fun & it’s kind of a mess of a song lol
- *Spinning: Another slow song. It’s an empowering song about how you need to keep going, keep spinning even through the hard times.
- *Cannonball: A more funky electro song. This features vocals from Andrew. Very loud and aggressive.
- *Traumatized: My second favorite song of the album. It’s very cute in the lyrical department where it talks about Christians love for Hannah and the baby. Their version of a love song but a very grungy love song with a dope guitar solo by either Christian or Andrew.
- Heart of Mine: Starts off kind of slow but picks up a little.
- *Don’t Stop Making It Happen: Ok lyrics are a little silly but hey lol
- Hollywood: Another slow song but with a message. A commentary on Hollywood.
Well That’s GroupLove in a Nutshell.
Till Next Time…Stay Groovy