Little Green Cars: “Harper Lee”

Irish band Little Green Cars perform Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. as a part of KUTX’s Live at the Four Seasons SXSW series. The five kids from Dublin have a sound that’s bold and anything but little.

If you want to get technical, you could call Little Green Cars a folk-rock band, but that’d be selling them short, and not giving you the entire story. The Little Green Cars use the “folk” descriptor as something of a jumping off point. You can hear it in the almost bucolic, intertwining male-female vocals between leaders Stevie Appleby and Faye O’Rourke, and the sweeping melodies that inhabit their upcoming full-length debut Harper Lee (out this summer). But that’s pretty much where the folkie influences end. When you dig into the record, you’ll find a band with more in common with the soaring, anthemic indie of Arcade Fire than the folk-pop of the mandolin-swinging, waistcoat afficionados in Mumford and co. Although Little Green Cars do have a connection to both bands in the form of Harper Lee’s producer, Markus Dravs, who’s worked with both bands (as well as Bjork and Coldplay along the way–the man has the Grammy touch).

One of the best examples of what Little Green Cars bring to the table is the lead, title track off Harper Lee. The name, and a lyric from the song (“And, Harper Lee, I’ll kill me a bird…”), are referencing, of course, Harper Lee of To Kill A Mockingbird fame. But don’t expect tales of Scout, Jem and Boo. It’s a dark song about sacrifice and longing (just another sample of lyrics: “There’s a gun in the attic, let me go grab it, I’d blow holes in my soul just so you can look past it.”). But the innocence of Little Green Cars’ delivery render, what could’ve been a bleak song into something rousing, and perfectly captures the yearning of youth.

You can catch Little Green Cars at SXSW:

Tue, 3/12: The Hype Hotel (301 Brazos St)
Wed, 3/13: KUTX Live at the Four Seasons, 8 a.m.
Fri, 3/15: Antone’s, 12 a.m.

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