I’ll be the first to admit that my musical tastes tend towards two polar extremes: 1. emotional “indie” music that elicits unprecedented bouts of tears and confusing thoughts; 2. anything pop-pumped and worshiped by 12-15 year-old girls (i.e., Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, and the pinnacle of boy bands that is One Direction).
The kind of music I’ve struggled to listen to is that in-between realm of pretty much everything else. If it doesn’t make me want to curl in a ball and think about the meaning of life or jump around like the true lunatic fangirl that I am, it’s hard for me to get invested in listening to music just for the joy of listening.
Enter Grouplove. I stumbled across this band back in 2012 sort of on accident, but it was a stumble I was happy to take. Their music is playful but not adherent to the typical pop formula. Everything about their sound is pure unadulterated fun. I wasn’t expecting to fall for them as hard as I did, and now that I’ve found them, their Never Trust a Happy Song is integral to my Subaru’s summer CD rotation.
This Sight & Sound project was completely spontaneous. All the photos illustrating this Grouplove song–“Naked Kids”–were taken on a day back in the summer of 2014 up near Gaylord, MI. The perfect weekends up north involve some incalculable ratio of sun, lake, friends, and booze, but this Saturday was greater than the sum of its parts. We spent the day boating and swimming in the lake (including almost an hour in the water swim-pushing the pontoon boat back to the dock after we ran out of gas). We spent the night partying with some strangers to the raucous sounds of a rock/grunge band that played 90s hits at the perfect dive bar in the middle of nowhere.
It exceeded all of our expectations; it was the way summer is often portrayed in movies or commercials without any of the pompous, flaky calculations of posing for the scenes. When I think back on that weekend, I remember feeling truly free from everything and entirely present in the moment for one of the few times in my life. That kind of raw energy is harnessed in so many Grouplove songs, that it was a natural fit to put the two together.