When I first heard the voices of Steven Appleby and Faye O’Rourke, two of the five (and the most vocal) members of Little Green Cars, I thought Appleby reminded me of the disarming Riley Briggs from the Scottish band Aberfeldy, a twee-pop band from half a decade ago that I enjoyed while I connected O’Rourke with the bombast of British singer Florence Welch, though she doesn’t demonstrate as much power. Unlike those bands, Little Green Cars are from Ireland and come across more folksy with touches of Americana, utilizing all the members’ voices to provide eager charming five-part harmonies that makes creating music sound easy. The band is currently touring on the back of their debut, Absolute Zero (produced by Markus Dravs who has worked with Mumford & Sons and Arcade Fire) and had arrived in NYC (from Lollapalooza) to perform live-streamed for MTV’s Artist to Watch series. In the tiny Studio at Webster Hall, the audience packed in near the stage, sweaty and eager to watch one of the new “it” bands.
This album became part of my regular rotation for its near-consistent excellency (the sole misstep is “Red and Blue”) since I first heard it in May, so I was looking forward to seeing Little Green Cars’ show. The only disappointment was its brevity, made especially more evident because of my late arrival. But as I watched the band draw from their debut, I didn’t mind, knowing the band will be back around next month. The highlights included, “The John Wayne”, which had many in the audience singing along and the powerful “My Love Took Me Down to the River” belted out by O’Rourke. For their encore, Little Green Cars performed the quiet “The Consequence of Not Sleeping”, bringing themselves off the stage to stand clutched tight in the midst of the audience. From the many camera phones raised up capturing the scene, you could sense that the moment was particularly dear to the audience. It was a short but sweet set but with their beguiling album receiving the recognition of MTV, we should expect to see more of Little Green Cars, and hopefully an (eventual) equally exciting follow up.
The livestream is over, but MTV is expected to put up clips of Little Green Cars’ performance online. Visit this page to find out when they become available for viewing.