INTERVIEW: GROUPLOVE’s Unlikely Formation and Loveable Breakout Single

So five people, all from different parts of the globe, meet randomly at an artist residency in Greece. None of the aforementioned artists are Greek, or from the country. They eventually form a bond, then a band, and create an album. The breakout song from that album is a happy sounding song on a LP called Never Trust a Happy Song.

In a nutshell, that is the unlikely story of Grouplove, an indie rock quintet that is gaining a steady following since the band’s debut album hit stores last fall. Grouplove performed on the “Late Show,” landed a song on the Madden NFL video game soundtrack, and scored Blair’s marriage scene on “Gossip Girl.”


“My sister and all of her friends were shrieking on my answering machine,” singer Hannah Hooper told me recently. The band is supporting Young the Giant on tour before its own headlining trek this summer. “Everyone was just freaking out.”

While I doubt he was “shrieking,” it was a similarly surreal experience hearing the song on the show for singer/bassist Sean Gadd.

“I had never seen ‘Gossip Girl’ before, but I could see that it was such a huge scene for the program,” Gadd admitted. “It made me listen to ‘Slow’ in such a different way… it was bizarre.”

But the song that is currently climbing up the Billboard chart is “Tongue Tied,” and that received a little outside help as well, in the form of an Apple iPod ad.

“[The commercial] was on all the time, literally,” Gadd said when he returned home to London for the holidays. “Every commercial break it seemed to come on!”

Despite the jovial melody of the track and spirit in the commercial, the song didn’t exactly emanate from the happiest of origins.

“It came from a dark place,” Hooper explained. “Christian [Zucconi] was doing a movie score for a really depressing film, and Sean and I were hanging out… but Christian was just messing around with different piano lines and a really happy one came out of it.”

Their instincts were already correct in knowing to travel to Greece, and form the band. Right then, the group knew they had its party song. It came from an unlikely source, but that was a scenario far from Greek to them.

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