When I saw Grouplove (then operating under the search engine-stumping moniker “Group”) play their first live show at El Cid, I had them pegged as the indie-pop response to Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. To a room filled with their well-scrubbed but dressed-down friends and a remarkable number of label A&R folks they seemed to have on speed-dial, the L.A. based quintet was all hooks, handclaps and happiness. Grouplove’s talking points – their oddly matched personas, downright silly costumes, a heartwarming backstory about the amazing synchronicity that brought them together and music that referenced indie-rock icons rather than the hippie-fied ’60s – marked the band for immediate success, no matter that their tribal exuberance had the sincerity of a toothpaste commercial.
The fivesome was quickly snapped up by the Atlantic Records imprint Canvasback, which will release their debut EP on Jan. 25. Filmmaker Jordan Bahat’s video for “Colours” (spelled the British English way, naturally) is a button-pusher too. On Monday night in a roomful of happy, bouncing fans, I saw Grouplove for the sixth time, again thinking, during “Colours,” that they should just jump into a cover of “Float On” and get it over with. I’m sure it’s just me, but: Next, please.
||| Live: Grouplove has the Monday night residency at the Bootleg Theater – next week with White Arrows supporting and Jan. 17 with Chief. The Jan. 24 installment is not free but a $20 ticket, which means the billed “special guest” must be pretty special indeed.