A couple years ago you could find me – more often than not – perusing the (pretty rad and sadly no longer available) “Free Single of the Week” section of the iTunes store. This was a treasure trove of varying genres. Hipsters, music freaks, and broke teenagers alike could browse present and past Songs of the Week and download free of charge. The bands and musicians featured were usually up-and-coming – worthy of recognition, but apparently not my 0.99 cents. One week in 2013, however, I came across a band that was worth not only my 0.99 cents, but the whole $7.99 it took to buy their album. A song called “Big Red Dragon” by a band called Little Green Cars was available for download. Off their first and only studio album titled Absolute Zero, “Big Red Dragon” is a fast-paced, quirky alt-rock gem which quickly became a staple on my frequently listened-to Cooking Playlist and my many, much less listened-to Workout Playlists.
Comprised of five members, Little Green Cars hail from Dublin, Ireland. They formed the band in 2008 and played various music festivals to rave reviews in 2013, when Absolute Zero debuted. The band’s only female member, Faye O’Rourke, has a voice that could probably cut glass, so clear and forceful is her tone. Stevie Appleby, the band’s other “lead singer”, for lack of a better term (they all sing) has an almost country twang to his vocals. Absolute Zero is an organized melting pot of genres, mixed with gorgeous five part harmonies and, to put it frankly, stellar songwriting. Two other standout tracks on the album include “The John Wayne” and “My Love Took Me Down To The River (To Silence Me).” Both tracks have dark, poetic lyrics and put to use their harmonic abilities. They juxtapose this choral-esque vocal arrangement with a somewhat grating electric guitar sound, which adds incredible tension and opposition to the track.
But hold all the phones – the band has just announced that they are set to release a second studio album called Ephemera, and they released their first single, “The Song They Play Every Night” the other night on RTÉ2fm. If you detect the slightest hint of excitement right about now, it’s because I’ve been waiting three whole years for new material from these guys. It’s the end of the Sherlock hiatus all over again. “The Song They Play Every Night” is softer than most of the material on Absolute Zero. It’s a barren sound. Very simple, yet still wonderfully effective because of how well the music pairs with the heart-wrenching lyrics. If this is any indication of the sound LGC are moving toward, I’m waiting with bated breath. Then again, I would wait with baited breath for the old sound too.
At the moment, the band has just finished touring with Hozier, and they are set to play a bunch of little venues over The U.S. and Canada in the coming months. If you can get out to one, it is bound to be a special night. In the meantime, you can check out their Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts, as well as their live Mahogany sessions of both “The John Wayne” and “My Love Took Me Down To The River”. Stay tuned for March 11th, when Ephemera is officially released, and put “The Song They Play” on repeat on SoundCloud.
Follow updates from Little Green Cars here.
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Review by Tanis Smither | @Tanisquinn