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Last.fm is all about discovering and sharing music. Here at Last HQ we do it all day, every day. In a new series for Originals, each week the Last.fm music team takes turns showcasing stuff that’s floating their respective boats, in the sure and certain hope that it will float yours too. This week, Last.fm’s Head of Music Chris Price, aka missingparsons, introduces his latest high-rotation obsession Little Green Cars.
Your Tuesday challenge is to list all the big-name rock acts you can think of in which male and female lead vocals receive exactly equal billing. I’m willing to bet you won’t need the fingers of more than one hand. There’s Buckingham/Nicks-era Fleetwood Mac of course, The Mamas & The Papas, Arcade Fire at a push, and most recently Of Monsters & Men, touches of whom can all be heard in the emotionally charged rock songs of our latest Discovery of the Week, Little Green Cars.
It’s an exclusive club they’re joining. And while the boy/girl harmonies of lead singers Stevie Appleby and Faye O’Rourke are very much the centrepiece of the band’s forthcoming debut album Absolute Zero, all five voices come to the fore in this exquisite a cappella performance of live favourite ‘Red’ above, featured here exclusively by Last.fm.
Filmed in a derelict warehouse-cum-rehearsal-space in their Dublin hometown, this simple yet stunning performance hints at the folk tradition that informs the beefier, more cosmic-country offerings of the album. Discomfiting as it may be to hear five twenty-somethings musing on how they’ll be remembered when they’re gone, their five years together are plain to see in this beautiful film.
We think Absolute Zero has the potential to ‘do a Mumfords’. Their choice of producer Markus Dravs, with credits like Arcade Fire, Coldplay and, most recently, Mumford & Sons’ latest album Babel to his name, will do nothing but help. Lead single ‘The John Wayne’ – already a favourite with Last.fm users – is available now, rightly picking up radio and press interest on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as earning the band a clutch of ‘Ones to Watch’ plaudits for 2013.
The band has just completed a triumphant first tour of the US, including standout shows at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco and CMJ in New York City. Their next big show on home turf, at Whelans in Dublin on November 8th, is already sold out, but watch this space for a more expansive touring schedule next year. See you down the front!