Tongue Tied (Grouplove song)

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"Tongue Tied"
Cover art for the single "Tongue Tied" by Grouplove.
Single by Grouplove
from the album Never Trust a Happy Song
A-side "Don't Fly Too Close to the Sun"
Released September 2, 2011
Studio Captain Cuts Studios, Los Angeles
Genre Electropop
Length 3:40
Label Canvasback, Atlantic
Songwriter(s) Grouplove
Producer(s) Ryan Rabin
Grouplove singles chronology
"Tongue Tied"
"Itchin' on a Photograph"

"Tongue Tied" is a song by American indie rock band Grouplove, featured on their debut studio album Never Trust a Happy Song (2011). The song was released as the second single from the album on September 13, 2011. It was featured in an Apple iPod Touch commercial in 2011.[1] On June 18, 2012, "Tongue Tied" reached the number-one position on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart, becoming their first number-one single. In May 2012, the song was covered by Fox television series Glee in the season 3 episode "Nationals". It also appears in The Three Stooges, Wadjda and in GT Racing 2: The Real Car Experience.

"Tongue Tied" received mixed to negative reviews from critics, with criticism directed towards the use of synthesizers. Despite its reception, it remains one of the band's highest charting singles to date, becoming their first song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at 42, as well as number 3 on the Rock Songs chart. The song has been performed on various late-night talk shows, as well as on the American musical comedy-drama television series Glee.


"Tongue Tied" was written by the collective members of Grouplove and produced by Ryan Rabin. The song was recorded by Rabin at Captain Cuts Studios in Los Angeles, California.[2] According to lead vocalist Christian Zuconni, "Tongue Tied" was conceived in swift fashion. While composing the piano score for a "really depressing, moody movie",[a] Zuconni began to play around with various chords before settling on a melody.[3] He then performed an instrumental version for bandmates Hannah Hooper and Sean Gadd.


"Tongue Tied" is a three-minute, 38-second rock and electropop[4][5] song influenced by indie music. It incorporates elements of synthpop[6] and post-punk.[7] The song is composed in the key of E-flat major using common time and a moderate dance tempo of 106 beats per minute.[8] Andrew Lentz of Drum Magazine noted that "Tongue Tied" has a "dance-y four-on-the-floor feel"[9]


"Tongue Tied" received mixed reviews from critics. Robert Cooke of Drowned in Sound said that the song's "bloated synth sounds like the soundtrack to an advert for some E number-riddled sweets written by Katy Perry, while the almost-rapping in the middle-eight sounds like a Pussycat Dolls pastiche".[6] Matt Edsall of PopMatters said that the song "pumps Passion Pit-like beats that push the band into that same electro-pop category that so many other projects are involved in today, ruining the tone of the album a mere five minutes in".[5] Max Raymond of musicOMH said that the song was a "potential summer smash but too sugar-coated in synths".[10] Huw Jones of Slant Magazine said that "Tongue Tied" and the following track, "Lovely Cup", were lackluster songs that "completely derail the momentum".[11] Matt Collar of AllMusic praised the song for its "rollicking, post-punk exuberance",[7] while Mischa Pearlman of BBC Music said that the song's lyrics were at "beautiful odds with [the song's] bouncy tune".[12]

Music video[edit]

The music video, directed by Jordan Bahat, for "Tongue Tied" was released to Vevo and YouTube on July 25, 2011.[citation needed] The video features the band at a party, and the video goes mostly backwards. It shows a man running away from a group of people in a party who are in suits and masks. He trips and lands in an inflatable pool. At the beginning of the video, when it is the morning, he is seen fast asleep with his head in the water but with his body out of the water.

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Never Trust a Happy Song.[2]

Charts and certifications[edit]


  1. ^ Zuconni never specified which movie he was working on.


  1. ^ Lopez, Korina (December 9, 2011). "Grouplove grew out of friendship". USA Today. Gannett. Retrieved 2012-04-21. 
  2. ^ a b Never Trust a Happy Song (liner notes). Grouplove. Canvasback Music, Atlantic Records. 2011. 
  3. ^ Fortune, Drew (May 17, 2012). "Grouplove's Christian Zucconi". The A.V. Club. Retrieved November 4, 2015. 
  4. ^ Esdall, Matt (October 5, 2011). "Grouplove: Never Trust a Happy Song". PopMatters. Retrieved April 14, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Edsall, Matt (October 5, 2011). "Grouplove: Never Trust a Happy Song - PopMatters". PopMatters. Retrieved November 2, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Cooke, Robert (September 5, 2011). "Album Review: Grouplove - Never Trust a Happy Song / Drowned in Sound". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved November 2, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Collar, Matt. "Never Trust a Happy Song - Grouplove - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved November 2, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Digital Sheet Music, Grouplove 'Tongue Tied'". Retrieved November 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ Lentz, Andrew (January 11, 2012). "Ryan Rabin Of Grouplove: Down To Business". Drum Magazine. Retrieved November 4, 2015. 
  10. ^ Raymond, Max (September 5, 2011). "Grouplove – Never Trust A Happy Song - musicOHM". musicOMH. Retrieved November 2, 2015. 
  11. ^ Jones, Huw (September 7, 2011). "Grouplove Never Trust A Happy Song - Slant Magazine". Slant Magazine. Retrieved November 2, 2015. 
  12. ^ Pearlman, Mischa. "Grouplove Never Trust a Happy Song Review - BBC Music". BBC Music. Retrieved November 2, 2015. 
  13. ^ " – Grouplove – Tongue Tied". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  14. ^ "Grouplove – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Grouplove. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  15. ^ "Canadian Active Rock & Alt Rock Chart Archive: Alternative Rock - June 19, 2012". America's Music Charts. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  16. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201244 into search. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  17. ^ "Grouplove – Chart history" Japan Hot 100 for Grouplove. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  18. ^ "Archive Chart: 2011-12-25" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  19. ^ "Grouplove – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Grouplove. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  20. ^ "Grouplove – Chart history" Billboard Adult Pop Songs for Grouplove. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  21. ^ "Grouplove – Chart history" Billboard Hot Rock Songs for Grouplove. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  22. ^ "Grouplove – Chart history" Billboard Pop Songs for Grouplove. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  23. ^ "Rock Songs Year End 2012". Billboard. Retrieved November 3, 2015. 
  24. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2012 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved November 3, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Grouplove – Tongue Tied". Music Canada. Retrieved November 3, 2015. 
  26. ^ "American single certifications – Grouplove – Tongue Tied". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved November 3, 2015.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]