To celebrate their new album, Spreading Rumors, Grouplove have teamed with Spotify, asking fans vote on what cover the group should record. The five eclectic songs in the running are Nine Inch Nails' "Piggy," Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble," Bjork's "Hyperballad," Daniel Johnston's "True Love Will Find You in the End" and the Beach Boys' "Don't Worry Baby."
Lead vocalist Christian Zucconi and keyboardist-producer Ryan Rabin are both huge Bjork fans. "It's so spacious. That's a great song," Zucconi told Rolling Stone when we met the group at L.A. radio station KROQ following their intimate performance at the station's Red Bull Sound Space. "Any Bjork song is rad."
"Hyperballad" is a song that's already been covered superbly by Greg Dulli's Twilight Singers, among others. Considering the intricacies of Bjork's arrangements, her songs seem unlikely to be effectively recorded by others, but Rabin argues that isn't true.
"The funny thing about her productions, especially on songs like that, is she spaces things out so much, but I have a feeling it's written in a more traditional way," he said. "Then she's like, 'Fuck this, let's make it crazy.' But at the core of it, even if it is crazy and hard for your brain to wrap around as maybe a radio song, per se, it could be, if it was put into that format. At the end of the day, the songs are still so good."
Though he says he personally would vote for "Hyperballad," he expects Swift to win any popularity contest. Yet two days into the voting the Beach Boys had the lead. With such diversity, it seems a shame to limit the Spotify partnership to one cover. Could there be a covers project?
"That'd be really fun," Rabin said. "Maybe because we all like different songs, we'd do an EP, and everybody picks one or two songs."
"We're gonna make sure everyone knows our whole catalog," said Zucconi. "We're not gonna have any set lists and just call them, and you better be fucking ready."