- 09 Jul 21
Once Little Green Cars ran out of road in 2019, they didn’t hang around in a lay-by waiting for the AA. Stevie Appleby’s doing his own thing and Faye O’Rourke, Adam O’Regan, Donagh Seaver O’Leary and Dylan Lynch quickly re-emerged as something altogether poppier. If Little Green Cars sounded like they were driving on a country rock highway, debut Soda Blonde single ‘Swimming Through The Night’ belonged on a neon lit urban cross street.
The releases that followed, like the excellent, robotobeat, electric piano, row documenting ‘In The Heat Of The Night’, the tight bass and drums with keyboard flourishes of ‘Love Me World’, and, maybe best of all, the circular guitar hook that gave way to the big, bursting chorus of ‘Holy Roses’, all proved that debut was no fluke and heralded a band who deserved to eclipse the not-inconsiderable achievements of their former incarnation.
Small Talk further delivers on that promise. Let me doff the cap to the string arranging skills of Adam O’Regan on the marvellous opener ‘Tiny Darkness’ and his instrumental prowess throughout, with the smooth guitar riff in ‘Terrible Hands’ being just one example. Let me express my admiration for Dylan Lynch’s acumen for hitting things, the various bits of clattering going on in ‘Swimming Through The Night’ are particularly impressive. Let me point at that the way the fat analogue synth bass on the first half of ‘Small Talk’ gives way to O’Leary’s bass guitar as a touch of genius.
Let me, with the greatest respect to the men who play with soul and skill at the sides and around the back, say all that, but it's O’Rourke’s vocals that stand out. Whether she’s pleading on the lovely ‘I Still Have Feelings For You’, losing the rag in ‘In The Heat Of The Night’, or causing pop lover’s hearts to swoon with magical choruses like the one ‘The Dark Trapese’ is built around, hers is a major talent.
For those who fell hard for their great singles, the good news is that this album has more hooks than an angler’s tackle bag and each track earns its spot under that neon light. Everyone else should heed O’Rourke’s advice from amongst those gorgeous strings of ‘Tiny Darkness’ and “get with the programme” because Small Talk is a big deal.
Soda Blonde are playing a free album launch livestream tonight at 8.30pm on YouTube