Back in September 2011, when I first moved to Dublin, I asked one of my then-new flatmates to recommend me some up and coming Irish artists. And she told me about this band of Dublin teenagers that she loved, Little Green Cars. So it was that I first listened to ‘My Love Took Me Down To The River To Silence Me’. At the time I was struck by Faye O’Rourke’s brilliantly powerful vocals, but since then the thing that hits me about the song – and, indeed, the thing that is striking about every Little Green Cars song – is the overall use of vocal harmonies. The way their array of voices meld together is quite phenomenal and really just kind of beautiful, and it was for that reason I put them on my Sounds of 2013 list earlier this year.
On their debut, Absolute Zero, these sublime vocal harmonies take precedent, and there is something incredibly rich and warm about the feel of the album as a whole. Each song flows cohesively into the next, sometimes glorious and euphoric, sometimes delicate, slow-burning and intimate and, overall, it is a very sweet little album.
The lyrics can be devastatingly romantic, with moments like “and if you love me, for how I see myself/you must be crazy, or think I’m someone else” in a delicate Sufjan-esque voice. Lyrics like that highlight a theme of what I currently perceive to be the perfect encapsulation of young adult awkwardness and neuroticism but, realistically, it’s probably quite a timeless sentiment. These impressively knowing love stories that their songs tell – “you go outside dressed like that, you knew what was going to happen didn’t you?/You talk to me like that, you knew I was slowly falling in love with you” and “if I thought you loved me once, then I’d be happy forever” – are so wonderfully executed, sometimes with that sad tinge of desperate naivety, sometimes just all-out lovely and optimistic. There are some warming little electronic elements coming into their sound too, notably in the lush quiet of ‘Red and Blue’, and overall everything just comes together really nicely, adding to a distinct, enchanting charm that runs throughout the album.
I would argue that, upon early listenings at least, the strongest tracks on the album are still their earlier releases, with ‘The John Wayne’ particularly coming to the fore as an outstanding song. That refrain of “it’s easy to fall in love with you” is perfect. But it would do Absolute Zero a disservice to describe it as anything other than a really, really lovely listen and, while it leaves me with a sense of content, it is certainly an album that makes you more than a little excited to hear more from the band.
‘Absolute Zero’ is out now, and you can buy it here.