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Babel follows the 2009 release of Mumford & Sons' debut album, Sigh No More. It is produced by Markus Dravs.
Fantastic 4 Star review from American Songwriter!
There are some guitar sounds so indelibly stuck into our collective pop-consciousness that even those who can't tell a minor from a major chord can identify the band or player from just a few riffs -a dreamy John Lennon lick, the cosmic climb of Joe Perry, Slash's slash, Nirvana's fuzzy-barre rips, the post-punk fury of Sonic Youth. Now, the chugging, kinetic strum of Mumford & Sons is slowly creeping onto this revered list - not born out of extreme skill or virtuosity but by sheer branding, note for note. And it's how the band's second album, Babel, opens on the title track: with that same very strum, born somewhere between English mountain folk and an old time Appalachia. You can nearly hear the sweat flying off Marcus Mumford, his Martin instrument hiked high on his chest, every time he and banjo player Winston Marshall attack their strings.
So it's no coincidence, it seems, that the band's highly anticipated sophomore record begins exactly where we might expect, and the rest of LP that follows proves that this isn't an attempt to smash any expectations with a sudden progression of their style. For those devotees looking for the Mumfords to evolve drastically, well, you're out of luck. But who would that audience be, anyway? The band is no doubt polarizing: old time and bluegrass faithfuls wouldn't be caught dead with a copy of Sigh No More, and their most ardent followers are more likely to have an iPod stocked with Coldplay and John Mayer than Bill Monroe or Doc Watson. Even pop addicts can't deny the catchy craft of "Little Lion Man" or "The Cave." No one is looking for their Kid A. Thus Babel's not a new sentence in the book of Mumford & Sons - it's what happens after an ellipses. And in many ways, that suits them just fine. It will most definitely suit their fans.
Marcus Mumford has always been a bit of a melancholy fellow, and even a marriage to pixie-haired starlet Carey Mulligan, sold-out shows and Grammy nominations haven't shaken the teary introspection from this set of songs. Obviously, Babel deals in a lot of religious imagery and lyrics - with all the success and opportunities to indulge, it seems the boys have taken a moment to ask a few questions of their maker. "This cup of yours tastes holy/but a brush with the devil can clear your mind," Mumford sings on the second track "Whispers in the Dark." It's an anthem call with a firm statement: "I'm a cad but I'm not a I'm not a fraud / I set out to serve the lord." Maybe the trials and tribulations of being simultaneously loved and harangued have worn on the Mumford's, but at least they can prove to themselves, their audience or even their lord that this stuff comes from the heart.
The album's single, "I Will Wait," is an easy crowd-pleaser moment with an arena-ready hushed chorus, set to those furious strings. The lyric and melody could easily be a Fray song if you removed the plucking banjo -and that's the amazing thing about Mumford & Sons. Purists aside, there's no one else that can get an audience from ages eight to eighty screaming along to a bunch of acoustic instruments or urge a kid to choose guitar lessons over computer games. Every time they perform - live or on Babel - they do it with sheer fervor, as if it's both their first and last time.
While the band is mostly known for their "Americana" sound, they also pull references from their side of the pond: from both classic British countryside folk and Celtic punk bands like The Pogues. Those influences run a little more clear on Babel - "Ghosts That We Knew" and "Reminder" are both soft, melancholy stunners born out of grassy hills and cockney-tinged tales told in wood-paneled bars. And "Broken Crown" is the boys at their angriest yet: "I'll never be your chosen one," Mumford sings lightly before launching into an all-out war over minstrel plucks. It's a force of a song, and not your firmest pick nor hard-earned callous could weather that storm.
Babel has some other unexpected moments, too, like on "Hopeless Wanderer," which begins with keys instead of strum, and "Lover of the Light" is a sunnier moment, perhaps a nod to the singer's recent vows ("to have and to hold," Mumford howls on the track). And the album's closer, "Not Without Haste," is a beautiful lullaby meant more for singing a restless man to sleep than a still-innocent child.
There's also a continuation of the Mumford's love of literary references, with the boys even copping recently to ripping a line from Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall - this is the band, after all, that was able to loop Macbeth's fateful cry of "stars, hide your fires" into their rollicking song "Roll Away Your Stone." So while the album title, Babel, is most likely a biblical reference, it's hard not to think of Jorge Louis Borges' short story, The Library of Babel. In it Borges imagines a universe composed of an endless library that contains every book in every possible permutation, and, therefore, nothing at all. This excess causes great despair for people of the library as they try to search for meaning in all of it. They fret. They come up empty.
Babel may not hold all the answers, and it may not be some exotic transformation of their original formula - it's a safe bet to say that nothing from the Mumford & Sons may ever be. In The Library of Babel, the final realization that everything repeats itself is the universe's saving grace. And in Babel, you could say the same. Though there may not be endless possibilities, there's comfort - elegance, even - in that familiar, now nearly iconic rip of those strings, strummed in the way only those boys from West London can strum. It's not perfect, but it's perfectly Mumford & Sons.1. Babel
2. Whispers In The Dark
3. I Will Wait
4. Holland Road
5. Ghosts That We Knew
6. Lover Of The Light
7. Lovers' Eyes
9. Hopeless Wanderer
10. Broken Crown
11. Below My Feet
12. Not With Haste$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Babel, The Singles Collection
Babel: The 7 Inch Singles Collection includes the following limited edition etched 7 inch vinyl: I Will Wait, Lover Of The Light, Whispers In The Dark, Babel, plus Hopeless Wanderer
Mumford & Sons are pleased to announce the details of the stunning Babel: The 7 Inch Singles Collection, a special edition box set.
This limited collector's edition housed in a stylish navy blue box, with a hinged lid, contains five (5) 7 inch patterned etched vinyl, each of which is housed in individual bags. Between each vinyl, there is a cardboard divider, to separate the vinyls within the box. This is a completely bespoke design, specially made for this collectors edition vinyl box set.1. Vinyl 1: I Will Wait
2. Vinyl 2: Lover Of The Light
3. Vinyl 3: Whispers In The Dark
4. Vinyl 4: Babel
5. Vinyl 5: Hopeless Wanderer$59.997 Vinyl Single Box Set - 5 Singles Sealed Buy Now
The Road To Red Rocks (Special Edition)This limited collector's edition is housed in a stylish black gold foiled box, with a rigid lift off lid (Dimensions: 317mm x 317mm x 35mm). This lavish package includes both the Babel Deluxe CD album, The Road to Red Rocks DVD all housed inside a large format, cloth-covered, full colour 96 page hardcover book. The book contains never seen before exclusive photos and written parts, documenting the bands Road to Red Rocks and Gentlemen Of The Road show adventures. As well as the CD and DVD, you can also enjoy the Red Rocks concert performance in its pure analogue beauty via heavy 180 gram virgin vinyl, packed in a gatefold sleeve (including MP3 download card option).Red Rocks LP
1. Lovers Eyes
2. Little Lion Man
3. Below My Feet
4. Roll Away Your Stone
5. Lover of the Light
6. Ghosts That We Knew
7. Awake My Soul
8. Whispers In The Dark
9. Dustbowl Dance
10. I Will Wait
11. The Cave
Babel CD (Deluxe Edition)
2. Whispers In The Dark
3. I Will Wait
4. Holland Road
5. Ghosts That We Knew
6. Lover Of The Light
7. Lover's Eyes
9. Hopeless Wanderer
10. Broken Crown
11. Below My Feet
12. Not With Haste
13. For Those Below (Bonus Track)
14. The Boxer (Bonus Track) - Jerry Douglas (feat. Mumford & Sons and Paul Simon)
15. Where Are You Now (Bonus Track)
The Road to Red Rocks DVD
1. Lovers Eyes
2. Little Lion Man
3. Below My Feet
4. Roll Away Your Stone
5. Lover of the Light
6. Thistle & Weeds
7. Ghosts That We Knew
8. Awake My Soul
10. Dustbowl Dance
11. I Will Wait
12. The Cave$89.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP + CD + DVD - Sealed Buy Now
The Book Of LifeOrange/Yellow Colored Vinyl
From producer Guillermo del Toro and director Jorge Gutierrez comes an animated comedy with a unique visual style. The Book Of Life is the journey of Manolo, a young man who is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart. Before choosing which path to follow, he embarks on an incredible adventure that spans three fantastical worlds where he must face his greatest fears. The Book Of Life encourages us to celebrate the past while looking forward to the future.
The score was composed by Gustavo Santaolalla. The Argentinian is a multi-faced artist that is best known for his work writing movie scores and producing albums. He is also the founder of the alt-tango band Bajofondo. As a composer, he has won two Academy Awards® for Best Original Score for his work on Babel and Brokeback Mountain, for which he also won a Golden Globe® Award. Santaolalla also won two Grammy® Awards as an album producer: Best Latin Pop Album for Juanes' La Vida...Es Un Ratico and Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album for Cafe Tacuba's Cuatro Caminos. Most recently, Santaolalla composed the score for the Jack Kerouac movie, On The Road, and the video game The Last Of Us.LP1 - Soundtrack
1. Live Life - Jesse & Joy
2. The Apology Song - La Santa Cecilia
3. No Matter Where You Are - Us The Duo
4. I Love You Too Much - Diego Luna & Gustavo Santaolalla
5. I Will Wait - Diego Luna, Joe Matthews & Gustavo Santaolalla
6. Más - Kinky
7. Cielito Lindo - Plácido Domingo
8. Creep - Diego Luna & Gustavo Santaolalla
9. Can't Help Falling In Love with You - Diego Luna & Gustavo Santaolalla
10. Ecstasy of Gold - Gustavo Santaolalla
11. Do Ya Think I'm Sexy - Gabriel Iglesias & Gustavo Santaolalla
12. Just a Friend - Biz Markie & Cheech Marin
13. El Aparato / Land of the Remembering - CafÉ Tacvba & Gustavo Santaolalla
14. Visiting Mother - Gustavo Santaolalla
15. The Apology Song - Diego Luna & Gustavo Santaolalla
16. No Matter Where You Are - Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana & Plácido Domingo
17. Te Amo y Más - Diego Luna & Gustavo Santaolalla
18. Si Puedes Perdonar - Diego Luna & Gustavo Santaolalla
LP2 - SCORE
1. Special Tour
2. The Book Of Life Theme
3. The Tale Begins
4. Visiting Mother
5. Lullaby Theme
6. The Medal
7. A Lover's Tango
8. Manolo Vs Joaquin
9. The Boar
11. The Apology Song Demo
12. Sanchez Bullfighting History
13. The Banditos Are Coming!
14. Maria Is Gone
15. El Aparato / Land Of The Remembering
16. The Sanchez Clan
17. Reunited With Mother
18. I Love You Too Much Demo
19. Going to See La Muerte
20. Maria Agrees to Marry Joaquin / Traveling to the Cave of Souls
21. The Maze
22. Welcome to the Cave of Souls
23. The Book of Life Theme 2
24. He Gave Him The Medal
25. A Wager
27. Victory / Don't Forget Me
28. Manolo is Alive
29. The Apology Song Latino Americano$35.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
London ZooIn Gibson's Neuromancer, when Case and Molly meet the two surviving founders of Zion, there is talk of hearing a mighty dub in the Babel of tongues signaling the final days. If indeed we're living in these end times, as many predict, then there can be no more of an appropriate soundtrack for the coming apocalypse than The Bug's London Zoo.
The Bug is the main project for Kevin Martin, a producer who has headed a diverse range of projects. He is part of Techno Animal, Ice, and God (all with Justin Broadrick of Godflesh and Jesu), King Midas Sound, Razor X Productions (with The Rootsman), Pressure, and Ladybug; runs his Pathological Records label; and has collaborated with noise jazz outfit 16-17, Pete Sonic Boom Kemper's E.A.R. project, John Zorn, Kevin Shields, El-P, and the Antipop Consortium. He has recorded for Rephlex, Position Chrome/Mille Plateaux, Word Sound, Hyperdub, City Slang, Tigerbeat 6, Grand Royal, and now Ninja Tune. He has been personally asked to remix Thom Yorke, Grace Jones, Einsturzende Neubauten, and Primal Scream, and compiled jazz and dub compilations for Virgin Records. London Zoo is the fruition of all these activities.
The album was born of three key moments: an introduction to the thriving dubstep scene (of which The Bug is very much a pioneer from before it carried a name) and its key producers (via Kode 9 and Loefah) where Martin realized there were others on the same sonic trajectory as himself; an introduction to Warrior Queen via his work with Wayne Lonesome on the Razor X Productions project; and a Mary Anne Hobbs Breezeblock session which introduced him to Flowdan (Roll Deep) and Ricky Ranking. All three of these figure heavily in the end result and live presentation.
The obvious entry point to the album is the dubstep tag, particularly after the success of the three lead-up singles, but London Zoo clearly reaches past, brings together, and celebrates reference points from dancehall, grime, hip-hop, and noise-- it could have only come out of London sound-system culture, while its appeal spans cities and scenes.
From the opening strains of Angry (featuring reggae legend Tippa Irie) it's clear that the world has been served notice from the heart of the UK capital. The message is further strengthened as Ranking (best known for his work with Roots Manuva), Flowdan, Warrior Queen, Spaceape, Roger Robinson, Killa P, and Aya step up to lay waste to the boombastic rhythms put before them, eventually culminating in Judgement where Ranking leaves us with a prophecy: So much people are losing their minds, because we're living in a serious time. I guess it come in like a judgment sign, the people have killing on their mind. Living in end times, indeed. Best start building the Marcus Garvey tug now.Angry ft Tippa Irie
Murder We ft Ricky Ranking
Skeng ft Killa P & Flowdan
Too Much Pain ft Ricky Ranking & Aya
Insane ft Warrior Queen
Jah War ft Flowdan
Fuckaz ft Spaceape
You & Me ft Roger Robinson
Warning ft Flowdan
Poison Dart ft Warrior Queen
Judgement Ricky Ranking$24.99Vinyl LP - 3 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Terry Riley: In C (Pure Pleasure)If ever there were a popular work of minimalism, one that stated its purpose so clearly it could not be mistaken, Terry Riley's legendary composition In C is the one. It is a work that needs no explanation for its pulsing sequences of pitch all centering around the 53 phases of no duration played on the note and its performances have been numerous--even if there have been relatively few recordings of it. The Bang on a Can all-stars have recorded perhaps the most innovative version of the work thus far, after Riley's own, which was issued in the 1960s on Columbia's long defunct Odyssey label. This version reads minimalism as popular music and popular music as, finally, classical. The Bang on a Can version is outrageously wonderful. This single repeated note, meditatively engaged and then played upon in modulation, is taken by Bang on a Can and torn apart, with gritty, urban vision, rock & roll energy, and pure New York street smarts. Using a wide array of instruments (from piano, vibes, glockenspiel, cello, Wu man's pipa, clarinet, mandolin, soprano saxophone, electric guitar, marimba, chimes, and bass) for 45 minutes, this mind-flexing composition is moved through the sequence of all these instrumentalists, each coloring it just a bit, moving it a tad further outside and into the future, the dynamics shift subtly and change, direction becomes fluid, and the drama becomes white-knuckle tense after such a meditative beginning and then releases again.
This is the creation of language, tonal, timbral, and spatial. There is an architecture at work in this version that erects small towers of meaning in sound and piles them atop each other until a sonic Tower of Babel is finally fully erected. The pulse never stops; it never disengages no matter which instrument or group of instruments enters or leaves the fray. It is there, constant, always being born and always dying and being transformed, reincarnated as some other sound, some other phrase, but always identified by the pulse. This is more hypnotic than any rock & roll, and more powerful than any Beethoven symphony is taken in with openness. This is music -- ultimately made by a truly gifted and disciplined ensemble that share a singularly optimistic vision for modern music -- that can, and will, change your life.
- Terry Riley (conductor, saxophone, organ)
- Margaret Hassell, Lawrence Singer (oboe)
- Darlene Reynard (bass)
- Jon Hassell (trumpet)
- Jerry Kirkbride (clarinet)
- David Shostac (flute)
- Stuart Dempster (trombone)
- Edward Burnham (vibraphone)
- Jan Williams (marimba)
Recording: 1968 at Columbia's 30th Street Studio, New York, by Fred Plaut and Russ Payne
Production: David Behrman
About Pure Pleasure
At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Pure Pleasure all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.
During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existent tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.
A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.
We should like to emphasize that Pure Pleasure Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle.
We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.
To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.1. In C$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Rest In ChaosLet me explain what it's like to summarize Rest in Chaos. What you have here is, in the first place, the book of Genesis as deftly reconceived by Todd Snider who has been inhabited by a spirit resembling Philip K. Dick. The rest of the Hard Working Americans are under the direction (or perhaps in the thrall) of an older wiser Jimi Hendrix and a Frank Zappa no less exacting than he was when he departed. It is rock'n'roll music, past, present and future, and that's no dream, it's just a fact. There are moments here when the walls of Babel might be falling, there are moments when they are reinvented and every time you try to pin it down, it shows you something else. "Half Ass Moses," the third song, ends by declaring "The song wasn't all that complicated."
Like hell it isn't. When, in the very next song, "Dope is Dope," Todd Snider is a voice more inflammatory and gritty than I have ever heard from him before, "His mother didn't understand him / Whose mother ever does?" am I supposed to laugh, cry, applaud or beg for mercy. All that's really sure is, you're not leaving 'til the show's over. Even if you want to. There's nowhere else to go, and even if there were, the music's too good.
So much for metaphysics. The actual physics of the thing is seven billion people out for what they only think is a stroll, armed with nothing more than some quite treacherous Roman candles Rest in Chaos might, if these Hard Working Americans were scientists of something other than sound, be the story of the entropy of the universe, and if you think I'm kidding that's only because you haven't taken the deep dive into its complexity, which if not quantum is at least a quandary. Albums aren't this good anymore; they're not this ambitious; their parts are not so finely conceived, the risks they take are not so reckless, the ways they resolve contradictions are not so elegant. Most of all they don't kick you in the preconceptions anywhere near so often. (How did they manage to create harmonies in "Something Else" that recall both the Hollies and the Mothers of Invention?)
Todd's songs sound like he swiped part of them from Billy Joe Shaver and part from Tim Buckley and welded them together with spare parts from Iggy and Paul McCartney. There's a nightmare embedded here, and what cares the weight of it, the aspect of doom and the hint of doom is Dave Schools' bass. Neal Casal, who might be the most under-rated guitarist in rock, is constantly making the chaos more beautiful than you'd think possible. The roots of the sound are in the jam bands and Americana groups and singer-songwriter sessions the band members have played in but when they get to "Throwing Goats" (OK, maybe I should have said Thomas Pynchon or John Barth rather than Dick) and "Something Else" (both parts), they've joined the ranks of the rockers who no longer look for interstellar overdrive, because they've already found it.
All this is, of course, metaphor. Well, most of it. Some of it. The part about how strong it is, how smart, how completely the product of the past ("stand up for your brother, stick it to the man") and how anticipatory of one of the best futures anyone has shown us is straight up. It's one of the most well-sustained albums I've heard in years, and what it sustains is not only my faith in rock'n'roll or even how hard the Hard Working Americans really do work to make their magic, but how much it means to them, which is the only way it can mean very much to the rest of us.
Let me put it this way: I've heard Rest in Chaos any number of times and there's no way I'm done with it. I can tell you about its surface but I haven't gotten to the bottom of it. I'm not really sure there is one. It is humbling to confront it, and reassuring to know that there is all the rest of our lives for that. "The High Price of Inspiration"? A bargain.1. Opening Statement
2. It Runs Together
3. Half Ass Moses
4. Dope Is Dope
5. Burn Out Shoes
6. Roman Candles
7. Ascending Into Madness
8. Throwing The Goats
9. Something Else
11. The High Price of Inspiration
13. Purple Mountain Jamboree$25.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
While on a writing retreat in the sleepy southern town of Benton, Mississippi, the members of New York's Ava Luna came across an abandoned house while on a walk through the woods. Overgrown, rotting, and littered with evidence of its past inhabitants, the maze-like dwelling would haunt their psyches throughout the writing and recording of their third full-length Infinite House. Like Borges' Library of Babel, the seemingly endless rooms and hallways in the old house felt like a metaphor for the invisible, internal labyrinths, which the band explores lyrically and sonically on their new album. Recorded by drummer Julian Fader and vocalist/guitar player Carlos Hernandez, and mixed by Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Spoon, MGMT), it is safely their most polished recording to date. But their trademark intensity, mirthful humor, and angularity remain resolutely in place, the burnished surfaces illuminating the stories beneath like never before. By questioning, or maybe just forgetting the rules of the real world, on Infinite House the band has grown beyond the nervous soul descriptor they've been tagged with in the past, delivering an album on which nightmarish moments can phoenix into revelations that help us reconnect with the surreal magic in our everyday lives.1. Company
3. Steve Polyester
4. Roses and Cherries
5. Coat Of Shellac
6. Infinite House
7. Black Dog
8. Best Hexagon
11. Carbon$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Absolute ZeroAbsolute Zero is the debut album by Irish quintet, Little Green Cars. Absolute Zero's 48 minutes, crafted in unabashed earnestness with the aid of seasoned epic-producer Markus Dravs (Mumford and Sons' Sigh No More and Babel, Arcade Fire's Neon Bible and The Suburbs, Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto), acts as a soul-bearing report, as guileless as the young five-piece themselves, on the act of simply growing up; a process that requires, at once, so little and so much effort it could explode you from the inside at any moment.
"This record constantly jumps between two contrasting perspectives: the beauty of a reckless youth and the fear and confusion caused by our ever-pending adulthood," Appleby explains. "It's a hopeful and naïve look at love and life in general, which gives the album its bright days - but also deals with isolation, unrequited love and madness. We wanted to express both a feeling of strength and vulnerability, so the work had to encompass both the light and dark."
"These are all feelings we've had, as a group or as individuals. We hope this is something people can relate to. That's always been why music has been written; it's a voice for people who don't have a voice. Hopefully someone can find some sort of comfort or solace in this. "
The band -a group of 20-year-old friends with a habit of waxing deadly serious about their ever-expanding ambitions - convened in 2008 in a bungalow in Stevie Appleby's parents' backyard for as ordinary a reason as any: as the frontman admits sheepishly, they wanted to win a battle of the bands competition. With guitarist Adam O'Regan and bassist Donagh O'Leary friends since primary school, and the rest having met in secondary, the five rehearsed for the gig, at which they promptly lost out to another local band.
The defeat, however, was surprisingly fuel enough. It inspired them to work harder, to work through their remaining two years of school, during which they produced a massive catalog of demo recordings, blending acoustic and electronic, classical and punk, djembe drums and synth strings. Then, in 2010, not long before graduation, then-rising manager Daniel Ryan found them at one of their sparse live gigs. With just one client already under his wing, he approached the young band with a terrifying, yet exhilarating ultimatum: Do you want to go to university, or do you want to really be in a band?
"That was the first time we considered looking that far ahead," says guitarist/vocalist/primary songwriter Faye O'Rourke. "We were trying to avoid thinking about the future because of the prospect of college, but " The choice became obvious. And like that, they dove in. For two years they redoubled their efforts, crafting a wide-eyed musical narrative that mirrored their evolution as an ensemble until, inevitably, label suitors began to knock. Since 2011 they've been quietly boiling down those demos into an album - the first they've ever recorded.
"The main thing I want to hear out of an artist I admire is the truth," says Appleby. "How they really felt. If I'm going to say something, it may as well be the truth." The lengths to which Appleby, O'Rourke and the rest of the band will go to tell that truth have yet to reveal their depth, but a full-steam-ahead debut record is a good place to start. Finally, five years' worth of backyard Garage Band tracks have a name: Absolute Zero.
The songs of Absolute Zero have only begun to see the light of day, because, as Appleby puts it, "we've always been more interested in recording and writing and experimenting with everything than in touring. [The past five years] was time spent finding our sound, finding ourselves. We've gone through everything, from acoustic guitars to electronic music. We needed the time to grow up as people and as musicians."
In other words, this is a debut that is a sum total of its creators' ascent to this moment. It is a desperate, under-pillow diary; a painstakingly lettered love note dropped in a locker; a collective, yet very personal, dissertation. On the record's debut single The John Wayne, a fierce paean to the ones who so easily break our hearts, the lot of them proclaim, "It's easy to fall in love with you/It's easy to be alone/It's easy to hate yourself when all your love is inside someone else." On "My Love Took Me Down To The River To Silence Me," O'Rourke is torn between the heartbreak and the healing that comes from being heartbroken, "But my heart burned out til it was no more/still I wait on the ground, I don't know what for/There is a heart in you/where is the heart in me?/This love's killing me, but I want it to." And by its early-morning close, when Appleby asks, "And who will write and who will fight for this man/I know I am?/And if you're running out of space/Please don't erase your time with me," it becomes clear that it's not just love Little Green Cars are grasping at: even amidst an ex-lover's plea for acknowledgement, the search has grown far beyond that.1. Harper Lee
2. Angel Owl
3. My Love Took Me Down to The River to Silence Me
4. The Consequences of Not Sleeping
5. Big Red Dragon
6. Red and Blue
7. The Kitchen Floor
8. The John Wayne
11. Goodbye Blue Monday$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now