The Boston Massachusetts electro indie pop band Cars & Trucks was born out of band leader Micah Shapiro’s love of children’s songs of which she has written many in the past. But for Cars & Trucks, Shapiro wanted to use children’s song styled themes, many of which include animals, but make the songs more adult sounding.
Cars & Trucks is a seven-piece ensemble with the usual suspects of guitar, bass and drums, yet also some synth and keyboard elements as well as layered backing vocals on most of the songs. Their self-titled EP is five rather lo-fi tunes with lyrics that deal with fantastical subjects like the lives of maidens, kings and queens, and at other times bats and flying squirrels.
Cars & Trucks opens with the whimsical synth-pop ditty “Flying Squirrel and Bat.” The song is, in case the title hasn’t made it perfectly clear, about a bat and a flying squirrel. The lyrics tell a little story about the pair joining the birds in the sky and that “Everyone helps on the team that can fly.” Next comes the jazzy organ pop of “Secrets of Love” on which the band is not very secretive about its love for Talking Heads, as one will notice from the outro. Though the lyrics are a little too new age medieval for my taste, they are delivered in beautiful harmony by Shapiro and her cast of back up vocalists.
The same can be said of the vocals on “It’s so Nice to Meet You,” a pseudo dance pop number which gets a lift from a pretty sweet, and rather unexpected guitar solo. The guitar follows onto the super wacky “Animal Exercise” with harmonies that sound created for children, and vocals that could be read as either silly or rather licentious depending on how you interpret “Animal exercise/right before your eyes/before we go to sleep, we've got to move our feet!”
It took me a few spins to get into Cars & Trucks, mainly because I am generally cautious when a band’s lyrics are jokey and/or fantasy driven, but that’s just a personal preference. Anyway I began to realize how good so much of the music was that really began to enjoy it much more over time. It’s fun and catchy and sometimes that’s really all you need these days.
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