Many of the songs on Grouplove’s fourth album, like the rallying cry of “Promises,” directly reflect the upheaval they observed while recording the album at the residential studio complex Sonic Ranch in El Paso, Texas. “We were at the border where kids were being held,” vocalist/keyboardist Hannah Hooper tells Apple Music. Guitarist/vocalist Andrew Wessen adds, “We could hear the rallies, the people and the megaphones. So we channeled all that. And maybe that song will take legs and be its own voice in that.”
But even at their most unruly, the LA indie group can’t help but share their concerns with smiles and good cheer. Songs like “Inside Out” and “Youth” are about being fully engaged and living in the now, both stamped with the lush sonic imprint of producer/TV on the Radio member Dave Sitek—who openly told the band he’d assist in recording Healer because he believed in them. “This is one of those incredible creative moments where, really, you’re hitting a stride that you’ve never hit as a band—and Dave was such a huge part of that,” says Wessen. “He would say, ‘Stop being a musician,’ which I thought was genius, because it basically was like, ‘Stop thinking about what you're playing.’”
Grouplove’s message of perseverance is also personal for Hooper. “One of the reasons we named it [Healer] is I actually had brain surgery during this time, which was wild,” Hooper says. “And I went in and got an MRI, and the doctor was like, ‘Yeah. You need to get surgery pretty soon.’ Having the band to support and distract me was the reason I think everything went okay.” It was thanks to their fun-loving, communal spirit that they were able to battle through the hard times. “I also realized that me having such a scary thing, people started opening up to me,” she says. “Everyone was having their issues, opening up about it in the band and outside of the band. And that’s really where Healer came from, using our art for us personally to heal and getting closer to each other, but also realizing that everyone is in a place where there’s some healing needed.”


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