GROUPLOVE’s story reads a lot like an indie rock fairy tale. Boy (musician) meets girl (painter) in New York City, and the two fall in love at first sight. Forty-eight hours later, they hop on a plane and head overseas for a Grecian vacay-meets-artists’-retreat. While there, the duo hooks up with a pair of music-making friends from California, along with a guitarist from London, and by the end of the summer a “lifelong bond” has been formed. At the end of the retreat, all five go their separate ways but pledge to stay in touch and continue sharing their music with each other. “It was just a really magical experience,” recalled guitarist Andrew Wessen when I spoke with him via phone.
Not long after that fated trip, the band reteamed in Los Angeles, cut an EP, and settled on a name, and less than a year later, GROUPLOVE had signed a deal with Atlantic Records and released a proper full-length (last year’s Never Trust a Happy Song). Not surprisingly, the band’s catalogue is filled with upbeat, exuberant, and swelling anthems. (You might recall their song “Tongue Tied,” which showed up in Apple’s 2011 iPod Touch campaign.) For GROUPLOVE, harmonies are key, and the more sing-along–ready a track is, the better.
Nowadays, GROUPLOVE is touring the world, picking up slots at festivals around the globe (they play the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival this weekend and next) and getting ready to make the leap from van to tour bus. This Monday, they head to Santa Barbara to headline the Lobero Theatre. “Honestly, we put that initial EP together just for fun,” Wessen laughed. “No one expected anything to come from it. When it started gaining blog interest, we all called each other and went, ‘Should we do this?’ We decided to go for it, and it hasn’t stopped since.”
GROUPLOVE plays the Lobero Theatre (33 E. Canon Perdido St.) on Monday, April 16, at 7 p.m. Call 963-0761 or visit lobero.com for tickets.