The chances are that you’ll be well aware of Grouplove already, their profile having steadily increased before the release of this debut album. In many ways they’ve taken an old fashioned approach – released one killer song that grabbed the attention in 2010 (‘Colours’) and followed it up with a summer of winning festival shows, including both Oxegen and the Electric Picnic, where they were already greeted like long lost friends. The good work doesn’t stop with Never Trust A Happy Song either, one of the most sure-footed and engaging debuts that you’re likely to come across this year.
The band’s day-glo colours are nailed to the mast from the off, with ‘Itching On A Photograph’ bursting out in an explosion of energy and charisma. In truth, this one song tells you all you need to know about the record as a whole – Grouplove concentrate on making happy music for happy people. It’s certainly not rocket science but an approach that many try but few pull off so spectacularly well as this. Indeed ‘Colours’ is far from the best track, part of an 11 song collection that only dips once on the knockabout rockabilly of ‘Chloe’. Elsewhere though it’s quality all the way. Never Trust A Happy Song is high on sweetness but the band know that a harder edge is sometimes needed to avoid a saccharine overload. ‘Slow’ (featuring a great lead vocal from Hannah Hooper) drops the pace at exactly the right moment and the record builds to a strong finish with the subtle ‘Cruel And Beautiful World’ and stirring ‘Close Your Eyes And Count To Ten’. Faultless so far, this is one band you can put your trust in.