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Ephemera
Little Green Cars Ephemera
Released 11 March 2016
Producer Rob Kirwan
Label Glassnote
Length 50:33
Genre Alternative
Website littlegreencars.com
73

It’s only March, yet 2016 already looks another strong year for Irish music. 2015 saw Girl Band and Villagers release memorable albums that featured in most critics’ end of year best-of lists. Bleeding Heart Pigeons set the bar high early this month with the innovative Is. And now Little Green Cars come through with Ephemera.

The Dublin band’s 2013 debut Absolute Zero blew up meaning they spent most of the time since on the road, including six tours of the US. The debut had a heavy Americana accent and this touring seems to have only deepened it. Alt-rock American bands like The Shins, The Lumineers and Band of Horses shine through most songs. The often mournful lyrics also nod towards country and western greats: 'The Song They Play Every Night's refrain of "If you don’t love me now, you didn’t love me before" could be straight from the Emmy-Lou Harris songbook.

Traumas like losing family members and fractured relationships from the last three years feed the sorrowful element. Rich arrangements and harmonies channel these life experiences into music, such as on standout singles 'The Song They Play Every Night' and 'Easier Day', as well as on the Arcade Fire-like 'Claire De Lune'. Where Absolute Zero was cinematic in its scope, Ephemera revels in the intimate. Though there is a fine line between mournful and maudlin and the odd song does stray onto the wrong side ('OK, Ok, Ok').

The album’s title Ephemera is named after a WB Yeats poem. Frontman Steve Appleby recently defined this as: "things that are important to you, but only for a short time". LGC have added maturity and depth to their repertoire. Though this may be at the cost of the joyous zeal that made them the much-loved band they had become.

Here’s hoping they don’t end up as ephemera themselves and manage to stay the course.

- Cian Doherty