In an explosion of colorful indie-pop, alternative band Grouplove has unveiled their latest album, titled “Big Mess.” Creating an album that delves into the chaotic stresses of day-to-day life, Grouplove’s latest is as relatable as it is catchy. “Big Mess” is Grouplove’s third album since their debut, “Never Trust a Happy Song,” which was released in 2011. Still a band that is developing their sound, Grouplove moves on from standard indie-rock and adds in layers of psychedelic influence, mixed in with some warm, feel-good progressions for “Big Mess.” The album was released on Sept. 9 and peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Top Alternative Charts.
“Welcome To Your Life,” the opening track on the album, immediately sets the standard for the rest of the record. The track gives a confident burst of energy to the album with its strong rhythm components. As well as being the lead single for the album, “Welcome To Your Life” is catchy, optimistic music that gives listeners a subtly personal look into the lives of the band. The song’s theme may revolve around the relationship between founding band members, Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi, who recently had a baby girl together. The joys and anxieties that come with parenthood are apparent within the song, as the instrumentation provides jubilant vocals and heavy sounding guitars that create a warm, sonic oriented feeling.
The rest of the album delivers upon the promise made by “Welcome To Your Life,” as the remainder of the tracks offer a hodgepodge of up-beat and some politically minded tracks that simultaneously examine conflicts plaguing modern society. Another couple of standout tracks come in the form of “Enlighten Me” and “Traumatized;” both found in the middle of the album. The former has an electronic beat that sets the rhythm, while multiple synths create layers of lush psychedelic ambiance. The lyrics take another introspective look at the way stress can negatively overwhelm people’s perspectives. “Traumatized” then deviates from that synth laden sound and instead takes a note from Nirvana by incorporating grunge level distortion in the guitars. The song takes on a furious pace and never stops, as the lyrics continue to analyze the challenges that come with parenthood. The final track, titled “Hollywood,” slows the tempo down and closes the album out in a chill manner. The song gives a laid-back perspective that allows listeners to reflect and simmer down following the previous party tracks.
Overall, Grouplove’s third effort marks another step in the right direction for the California-based band and contrary to the album’s title, Grouplove appears to be in control of their sound. The album still retains the indie-pop sound that is successful in bands like Matt and Kim and The Mowgli’s, but Grouplove goes a step further by utilizing psychedelic and grunge influences to differentiate their sound. Fans are sure to enjoy the band’s continuous evolution, while new listeners still have plenty of excellent, feel-good songs to experience off of “Big Mess.”