Writing and composition
In 2012, The Love Club EP was made freely available on SoundCloud. Later in March 2013, the EP was released for digital sales on iTunes Stores through Universal Music Group. The EP featured songs solely written by Lorde (credited under her birth-name Ella Yelich-O'Connor) and Joel Little and produced by Little, including "The Love Club". To promote the EP, Lorde held a concert at Le Poisson Rouge in New York and performed the song among other tracks from The Love Club EP on 6 August 2013, becoming her first US show. On 9 August 2013, Lorde performed "The Love Club" and "Royals" on KCRW radio station.
"The Love Club" is a electropop song. It addresses the befriending of "a bad crowd." Lorde explained the song's lyrical meaning to New York magazine, "'The Love Club' is about an experience I had about a year ago where I met all these new friends and I fell in with them. It happened overnight and I couldn't think of anything but our friends and our situation. Then I started to maybe realise that group wasn't so good for me, and that my old friends and my family are the people I should be with. It's about being drawn into this crazy world, and you’re all in love".
Upon its release, "The Love Club" received mainly positive reviews from music critics. Writing for The New Zealand Herald, Chris Schulz wrote that the song was "the start of something very special indeed." James Christopher Monger from AllMusic and The Nelson Mail writer Nick Ward picked it as one of the EP's standout tracks, alongside "Royals". Todd Luling from The Huffington Post labelled the song "a perfect pop song". Nick Manson from mX labelled "The Love Club" a "light-hearted" track.
In New Zealand, the song peaked at number three on the New Zealand Artists Singles Chart on 25 March 2013, and at number seventeen on the New Zealand Singles Chart on 10 June 2013. It was eventually certified Gold by Recorded Music NZ for sales of 7,500 copies there.
In the United States, "The Love Club" peaked at number 18 on the Hot Rock Songs chart, published by Billboard magazine. The song was listed at number 60 on the 2013 year-end Hot Rock Songs chart. Moreover, it charted at number 20 on the US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles. "The Love Club" was included in the album Songs for the Philippines, a charity album to support the people in the Philippines who suffered from Typhoon Haiyan (2013).