Grouplove is an era-defining band. Maybe they don't have the following that a lot of bands have that started out around the time they did, but they have a critical following that's kind of unmatched. Grouplove didn't start the indie alternative movement that kicked a lot of rock subgenres to the curb, but it kind of perfected it. A group of artists who met while traveling overseas who all strongly believe in the power of expression is pretty much right up the hipster perfection highway, and they've benefitted from that. That said, there's another strange movement going on in music right now where the subgenres are making a comeback and the indie stuff is starting to fade out. Not drastically yet, but it's noticeable. Grouplove starts out the 20s with their fourth album, Healer and just like their last three records, it's a solid listen.
Healer isn't a defining record for Grouplove. Really, because the state of the world it's sadly likely to be a forgotten one. The reason why it's not a defining record is mainly because it doesn't feel all that cohesive. With multiple vocalists that really doesn't happen, but before this record it's a problem that Grouplove’s music has never had. This feels less like an album and more like a playlist. That's fine for a band in their first couple of albums but not okay for a band with this type of cred.
Maybe this record isn't cohesive but it's still good. Grouplove frontman Christian Zucconi is always awesome with his ability to really add a personality to Grouplove songs. Paired with the instrumentation on the songs that he captains there's really something that's easy to listen to. The same thing can be said for Hannah Hooper's vocal on these songs too. The only thing that's better is when they harmonize their vocals. The non-uniform style of the songs on this album doesn't help it with a cohesive feel, but that trait does say something regarding the band's songwriting skill. They really find a groove in a hook or a melody and really settle into it. On songs like "Promises" and "Places" - it's the best thing about Grouplove music. There are more than a few moments like that with this record that make this music enjoyable to listen to.
Even though this record isn't really that cohesive as far as Grouplove standards go, it ends up being a great listen. There are a few songs that go on an essential Grouplove playlist but it's not their best work. Still any new music from this band is good new music and this falls in that category.