Just four and a half years ago, Hellogoodbye stood atop the pop music scene. The band's 2006 release, "Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!", sold more than half-a-million copies and hit the top spot of the U.S. indie charts - an impressive feat for a first record.
The band, which embarked on its first headlining tour for "Would It Kill You?" last week, plays Gainesville at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Common Grounds.
Hellogoodbye may be best known for its single "Here (In Your Arms)" and multiple appearances on late-night television. It shot to the top of the scene playing a quirky brand of power-pop, infusing catchy synth lines with irresistible vocals from lead singer and songwriter Forrest Kline.
Then a few lineup changes and a large-scale lawsuit with the band's label, Drive-Thru Records, set Hellogoodbye back in its tracks. Kline, the creative force behind Hellogoodbye, was ready to move on but didn't part ways with Drive-Thru until February 2010.
In an e-mail earlier this week, Kline wrote that having to release a new record on his own was a bit problematic.
"It was scary, because I had to put a lot of my personal money to get the record out," he wrote. "But at the same time it was exciting."
In November, Hellogoodbye released its full-length sophomore album "Would It Kill You?" Critics drooled over the band's new, more mature sound, as playful synth lines were tossed out to feature more evolved instrumentation.
When recording the new album, Kline and the rest of Hellogoodbye (Mike Nielsen, drums; Travis Head, bass; Joseph Marro, keyboard/guitar; and Andrew Richards, guitar/ukelele/mandolin) returned to their roots.
Recording in Kline's garage-turned-studio and running a web store out of a spare bedroom saw the band embrace the do-it-yourself ethic that it has always known, despite Hellogoodbye's past success.
But after spending more than a year out of the spotlight, the band exerted careful optimism about its new release and tour -including its stop in Gainesville.
"We played Gainesville before, about four or five years ago," he wrote. "Usually college towns are awesome to play and I'm looking forward to getting reacquainted with Gainesville."
With things looking up and the band's future well in his sights, Kline is facing forward and ready to put the past behind, saying that moving past his recent struggles was like cliff diving into water.
"I think we're just starting to hit the water right now," he wrote. "And that's when it starts feeling good."