Despite their collective youth, Absolute Zero, the debut album from Dublin quintet Little Green Cars, is steeped in nostalgia and heartache. Second single, ‘Harper Lee’, opens the album and immediately sets out to bombard the listener with group harmonies and well-structured lyrics; it also sets a standard and dynamic between vocalists Stevie and Faye for the remainder. ‘My Love Took Me Down To The River (To Silence Me)’ opens with a rhythmic, gospel-infused chant and, with such strong female vocals, comparisons to Florence Welch are inevitable; listen for yourself, forget the comparisons and just enjoy the heights this track reaches. Indeed, producer Markus Dravs’ past accomplishments define what Little Green Cars will essentially be likened to, the folk persuasion of Mumford & Sons coupled with the grandiousity of Arcade Fire (without the troupe of members).
Most of the tracks on Absolute Zero contain wistful “oohs” and “aahs” that stoke the embers in between soaring choruses; songs like ‘Angel Owl’ and ‘The Consequences of Not Sleeping’ twinkle gently among the more powerful performances and are essentially the charm accompanying the punch. Material such as ‘Big Red Dragon’ and ‘The John Wayne’ show that this band’s power lies in huge choruses and instrumentation; its members play notes around the chords rather than being happy with just mindless strumming. The latter half of the record has a much slower pace and while tracks such as ‘Please’ and ‘The Kitchen Floor’ do enough lyrically to touch the listener, ‘Red and Blue’ seems to be the musical anomaly of Absolute Zero. The ambient synth led track breaks any sense of continuity and in an almost, Imogen Heap-esque vocoder moment it begs to question where does it fit on an album that mainly ascribes to indie, folk and pop.
The main thing to take from Absolute Zero is that, while they may be likened to aforementioned groups, Little Green Cars create a unique blend of music formed from their eclectic tastes. Despite their seemingly ubiquitous rise, this is still only their debut release and after such a hard graft, they surely have a lot more to offer in the months to come. This may be only the start of the story.