Dublin's Little Green Cars have been revving their engines on both sides of the Atlantic with the release of their excellent new album, Absolute Zero.
The band’s sound is a dizzying mixture of instruments -- the jangly addictive chord structure of REM, the sunny harmonies of the Mamas and Papas, and the crisp alt-rock production of the Smiths.
“Like a storm I wait for the silence/like a bluff I wait till you fall,” Stevie Appleby sings on “Harper Lee,” the leadoff single on Absolute Zero.
The melodies and guitar solos are instantly hummable, like you’ve known the songs for years.
The band first formed in 2008 in a bungalow in Appleby's parents' backyard with the intent to win a battle of the bands competition. With guitarist Adam O'Regan and bassist Donagh O'Leary, his friends since primary school, and the rest having met in secondary, the five rehearsed for the gig at which they promptly lost out to another local band.
“We've always been more interested in recording and writing and experimenting with everything than in touring,” Appleby says in the band’s press release.
“The past five years was time spent finding our sound, finding ourselves. We've gone through everything, from acoustic guitars to electronic music. We needed the time to grow up as people and as musicians."
The results are worth the wait. “Goodbye Blue Monday” is a gorgeous acoustic folk ballad that Simon and Garfunkel would give their eye teeth to write in the present day, an organic chemistry within the musicians evident in the lazy harmonies.
On the record's debut single "The John Wayne," a song for the broken hearted, they sing, "It's easy to fall in love with you/It's easy to be alone/It's easy to hate yourself when all your love is inside someone else." A fuzzy, foreboding guitar and Neanderthal beat slinks behind the band as they sing the most beautiful harmony.
Little Green Cars is fresh off a buzz-worthy whirlwind month of touring that included several showcases for the influential College Music Journal (CMJ), appearances that caught the attention of outlets like NPR and The New York Times.
If there is any justice left in the music business, this new model Little Green Car will win a Grammy for Best New Artist. For more information, log onto http://littlegreencars.co.uk.