A surprise album that packs the perfect punch
Surprising fans a year after their most recent album, Healer, Grouplove has returned, and they’re more ready than ever to bring some angst to the table on their newest release, This Is This. The band enters with a bang, shaking things up in comparison to their last record. Each track’s harder and grittier tone brings a totally new element to the band’s sound.
Grouplove began its formation in 2009 when Hannah Hooper, an avowed fan of Chris Zucconi’s previous band Aloke, met Zucconi in Manhattan. Zucconi then invited Hooper to join him at a musical retreat in Crete, where they met the rest of their bandmates Andrew Wessen, Daniel Gleason and Benjamin Homola. The band became official in 2010, though it was not all fun and games right away—they sold off songs to content providers like HBO to stay afloat. Fortunately, the group’s first full-length record, Never Trust a Happy Song, was released in 2011 and eventually went gold. The group later released three other studio albums, with their last album Healers coming out in 2020.
This Is This kicks off with a powerhouse punch from “Primetime,” which turns the energy level of this album up to 11. “Primetime” carries a vastly different tone from their previous album, with a strong, overdriven guitar and a battle cry yell of “It’s Primetime Baby!” that is sure to startle the senses. Chugging instrumentation and howling vocals drive the song, while the chaotic guitar solos will make one’s head spin during the bridge.
“This Is The End” is the musical anthem for any relationships far past the honeymoon stage. This song explores the many ways that romantically involved people can annoy one another while still concluding that, “We’ll be together/ This is the еnd.” Vocally, it is a super fun and super catchy track. “This Is The End” carries the same drive and grit as “Primetime” while cleverly acknowledging some of the realities of long-term relationships and the angst that can grow inside oneself.
Smack dab in the middle of the album is “Oxygen Swimming,” where Grouplove slows down and offers a moment of reprieve. This track is a beautiful stripped-down slow jam that feels quite refreshing after the more energetic songs that preceded it. Soulful harmonies are accompanied by lush acoustics and simplified drums, giving the whole track a calm and earthy folkiness that separates it clearly and distinctly from the more fast-paced songs on the project.
The band allows little downtime after “Oxygen Swimming,” opting instead to dive right into “Just What You Want,” where they pick up the pace once more. The band announces its return to this register with a powerful guitar, joined by pounding drums. It is an up-tempo jam that warrants screaming along with the lyrics—it is the perfectly angsty summer song, just in time for warmer weather.
Grouplove brought the energy and good vibes with their latest release This Is This. Delivering fans a total surprise, they’ve presented an album that is fast and fun, all while introducing a new grittier element to their tone, and along with extra catchy lyrics that are just too fun not to sing along with. Just in time for the fast-approaching summer, This Is This is the perfect late-night road trip summer album.