In 2011, it’s all too common for indie bands to fizzle out within weeks of their big splashes into the music blogosphere. It’s even harder to find new bands that grab you, either with criminal catchiness or something unique. Houston, we give you Grouplove, whose debut LP, Never Trust A Happy Song, splits the difference between the darkness of the Pixies and the jangle of Modest Mouse to make a joyful noise that we didn’t get bored with on the second spin. Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi’s vocals shine throughout, and Hooper’s feminine yelp brings to mind the work of Régine Chassagne in the Arcade Fire. California openers White Arrows come with a great back story; lead singer Mickey Church was born legally blind, but by the age of 11 his sight was corrected. Those early blurry experiences and the need to increase his auditory skills pushed him into a decidedly cosmic direction with his music, and he is now in fact a practicing ritualistic shaman. That probably comes in handy as a rock front man. Their spacey electro is hard to pin down, and they have opened for the likes of Those Darlins, Portugal. The Man and current It-band Cults.


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