By Rya Backer
I first heard of Grouplove in 2004. Sort of.
Let me explain. Upon matriculating at an unnamed New England Liberal Arts College (no need to endorse a school I transferred out of, right?), I befriended an incredibly funny, genial and sunny LA boy named Andrew and his equally fun friend, Ryan, who would pop in from their shared hometown for the odd visit. Andrew also left said school to pursue his love of music at an artists’ colony his brother founded in Crete with Ryan, and we all but lost touch upon our separation.
So! Imagine my surprise last year when a mutual friend of ours informed me that he was seeing Andrew’s band that evening at Manhattan’s hallowed Bowery Ballroom. They were called Grouplove, and it also consisted of Ryan and new friends they met during their Aegean getaway. I immediately got myself a ticket and loved what I saw. Grouplove weren’t just bandmates: the four guys and a girl were genuine friends, and it was evident in each cheerful song they played and each track’s enthusiastic delivery.
Such joy isn’t limited to the stage, either. Upon arriving at Dave and Busters for our First Date, the band could not have been more excited to play some arcade games. They’d been on the road for what seemed like forever and were ready to take to some skee ball and moving basketball hoops instead of their instruments and rote questions about who their musical inspirations are.
If one didn’t know any better, the group could’ve been mistaken for a regular group of friends. Which is, in fact, exactly what they are.