(SXSW 2016 flavoured!) Single Review: Little Green Cars – The Song They Play Every Night

By on Thursday, 21st January 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

Nearly 3 years on from the release of their 2013 debut album ‘Absolute Zero’, Dublin indie rock quintet Little Green Cars are starting off 2016 with new single ‘The Song They Play Every Night’. The track will serve as the opener for Little Green Cars’ forthcoming new album ‘Ephemera’, which is due for release on Glassnote Records on the 11th of March, just before the band is slated to appear in Austin at SXSW 2016. The new album was shaped by the life-changing events surrounding the band and its individual members during the touring cycle for ‘Absolute Zero’. Over that 2-year time period, bandmates Stevie Appleby, Faye O’Rourke, Donagh Seaver O’Leary, Adam O’Reagan and Dylan Lynch experienced dramatic changes with the passing of family members and the ends of romances, as well as more subtle shifts in their relationships with family and friends caused by the perpetual motion of a demanding tour schedule.

The one constant in their lives, it would seem, was their songwriting. Writing and developing new songs even as they toured the old ones, Little Green Cars attempted to capture the emotion and spirit of the moments they inhabited, despite knowing that the moments themselves were fleeting. In the press release for the new single, co-songwriter/lead vocalist Appleby says, “It’s a transitional album. Lyrically, it’s all about change – the end of some eras, new beginnings, learning from the past and looking to the future. Ephemera means things that are important to you, but only for a short time.”

In that vein, ’The Song They Play Every Night’ is about the moment of recognition that a love affair has run its course. Through-composed in three distinct verses, the song begins with a melancholic guitar intro that is ever-so-faintly reminiscent of classical Spanish flamenco style in its minor key tone and lightly dancing rhythm. The lyrics in the first verse emphasise a sentiment of vague and growing dread, trailing off with the line “don’t make me say it out loud anymore…”

That idea is extended in the second verse, which finishes the thought with a bleak realisation, “if you don’t love me now, you didn’t love me before”. The instrumental bridge between verses two and three is brief but full of longing, as the tempo and dynamic level increase to a more fervent pitch. The third verse alludes to the panicked feeling of looking for a constant in the chaos, as Appleby plaintively sings of “looking for the landmarks that you keep burning down” over ethereally haunting backing vocals supplied by O’Rourke.

‘The Song They Play Every Night’ is poetically evocative and musically refined, creating a vignette that is both poignant and purposefully elusive. As a teaser for the new album, it serves its purpose well, its echoing melodies and eloquent lyrical hooks hinting at the potential for what promises to be a collection worthy of playing night after night.

8.5/10

‘Ephemera’, Little Green Cars’ second album, will be out in March on Glassnote Records. The band will play a one-off live show at London Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen on the 9th of February.  Following their trip to Austin for SXSW, they will tour in North America through the spring.  A full listing of Little Green Cars’ live dates can be found on their official Web site.  TGTF’s archive of coverage on Little Green Cars is right back here.

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