The iconic Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery was the landing spot and U.S. debut for Irish rockers Little Green Cars Wednesday night. Glassnote Records (Phoenix, Mumford & Sons), who recently signed the band for U.S. music releases, held a private, intimate showcase for music and radio industry insiders — and KROQ had a front (well, third) row seat to catch this amazing new band in action.
After sharing drinks and conversation over wine, Fat Tire and old-school DJ tunes with the band members’ family and parents (who mostly wanted to know why there is so much traffic in L.A.), Glassnote representatives ushered the hundred-or-so people hanging around the mess hall of the Mesonic Lodge into the dimly, but multi-colored lit meeting hall.
The band performed an amazing five-part harmony with no instrumentation to start the show, then a few acoustic numbers, and then went into a full-fledged set with an accompanying keyboardist. They were shy and witty, knowing their wasn’t too much pressure in front of family and people that have already signed away on their band.
The five-piece, all just twenty years of age, recently finished recording their debut album with renowned producer Markus Davis (Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons, Coldplay) for release early next year. Their sound reflects Davis’ production credits — the songs all carry immense emotional weight, all under varying styles of music. There were power ballads, folk-tinged rock and even some toe-tapping, head-nodding songs that had the small crowd collectively quiet to hear every note. It was as eclectic of a set from one band I can ever remember.
But in front of the music were Little Green Cars tremendous voices. Guitarist Faye O’Rourke stole the showcase displaying how one tiny girl could fill a room. Her vocals remind of Zola Jesus, who lent her vocal talents to the latest M83 album.
Check out their debut single on Glassnote, “The John Wayne”, which, funny enough, was lead singer Stevie Appleby’s attempt to write an “American song” after being turned down by an American girl during a night out in Dublin.
Just west of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery lies the Sunset Strip, where the monthly KROQ Locals Only Showcase was well under way.
The New Limb powered through a raucous last half of their set, not indicative of their on-record indie-rock/pop at all, but a welcome start to the already sweaty and packed On the Rox, the small space just above the The Roxy.
Echo Park stalwarts NO closed out the night. The band has steadily gained steam in the music scene and has gotten a ton of critical attention for their latest EP, Don’t Worry, You’ll Be Here Forever. Their attacking, rhythmic back-beat paired with a down-trodden vocal style draws comparisons to indie rock gods The National, but their is also a late-era New Order level of melody and pop to their songs. NO perfectly closed out a musically heavy night.
NO will be on tour with Electric Guest this fall. Check out the standout track from last night and their EP, “There’s A Glow”.