Spreading Rumours

Spreading Rumours

Grouplove is a band seemingly powered by exuberance and optimism, even at its most bittersweet. The L.A.-based outfit's first album, 2011's Never Trust a Happy Song, beamed its music into the hearts and minds of the willing and enjoyed enormous success. Any band's sophomore release can be a tough one, and to Grouplove’s credit, it didn’t dither and wait five years; Spreading Rumours arrived just as the hottest tracks from its debut were cooling. Grouplove's confidence is justified. Spreading Rumours uses the same components—Christian Zucconi’s endearing pinched wail, rhythm-section parts that inspire handclaps and shouting, cellos and pianos exactly where they need to be—but this time, there’s a little less helium in the mix. The rollicking piano and gales of synth notes in the opener, “I’m with You,” give the tune some gravitas before it takes off in earnest, never to be roped in. A funky itch is scratched in “Borderlines and Aliens” with an insistent, kinetic geyser of keyboard notes.

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