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October 27, 2004

{     Earlimart - Treble & Tremble     }    

It's been a long time since I've listened to something that felt so unobtrusively essential. Perhaps it's Aaron Espinoza's wonderfully not-perfect singing, or his almost too-perfect structuring of song and melody. Likely it is the marriage of both. Treble and Tremble is an amazingly well-crafted album, and it would be easy for something this multi-faceted and layered to come off sounding a bit crowded, but it never does. Each element rises and falls perfectly in time; breaking, decaying and falling away just as another bit of instrumentation or vocalization slips in. It's a delicate yet vigorous dance of acoustic strumming, piano plunking, whispered coos, rising synth, and pattered beats. There is such sincerity here, an honesty and obvious love of music, that I can't help but admire the results. Earlimart's sound avoids easy categorization, drawing from a wide pool of influence. At moments, it is very indie-rock, piano-driven, slightly emo, lo-fi electronica laced, even occasionally rubbing up against something sort of folk-like. But at heart it is none of these things, it's something entirely unto its own, unpretentious and humble enough to be truly great. The album begins slowly and rather quietly with the track "hold on slow down" before building into "first instant last report", the most grandiose and pop-accessible track on Treble & Tremble. They quickly find a nice middle-ground between the two, and the remainder of the album draws out blissfully. Stand outs for me include "broke the furniture" and "heaven adores you", and the album closes brilliantly with not one perfect ending track, but two- in the form of "tell the truth part1, tell the truth part2" and "it's okay to think about ending". Could I be more impressed? InSound is offering the album for $9.99 through the link below, and I'm seriously considering buying a copy for everybody I know. Catch the band live- Earlimart Tour Dates: 10/27/04 - Minneapolis, MN @ 400 Bar 10/28/04 - Milwaukee, WI @ Onopa Brewing 10/29/04 - Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop 10/30/04 - Richmond, IN @ Earlham College 11/2/04 - Louisville, KY @ Headliner's Music Hall * 11/3/04 - Ann Arbor, MI @ Blind Pig * 11/4/04 - Columbus, OH @ Little Brothers * 11/5/04 - Champaign, IL @ High Dive* 11/7/04 - Chicago, IL @ Metro* 11/9/04 - Cambridge, MA @ TT the Bears 11/10/04 - New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge 11/11/04 - Philadelphia, PA @ Five Spots w/ Midnight Movies 11/12/04 - Hoboken, NJ @ Maxwell's 11/13/04 - Washington, DC @ Velvet Lounge 11/14/04 - Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506 11/15/04 - Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn 11/16/04 - Athens, GA @ Calendonia Lounge 11/18/04 - Baton Rouge, LA @ Red Star 11/19/04 - Houston, TX @ Rudyards 11/20/04 - Dallas, TX @ tbd *w/ Pinback

     » Hear a bit...(with links to buy)
     » earlimartmusic.com
     » The Ship collective
     » Palm Pictures (w/bio and info)

Comments

wow… very nice. i think i'll buy it now. this website is starting to cost me money. i bought a plush toy off your last article. if you dig on this guy's sound you should check out sufjan stevens (http://www.sufjanstevens.com). genius. i'm loving what i hear.

Posted by: thomas romer at October 30, 2004 3:11 AM

I'll definitely check out Sufjan Stevens- I've seen/read a lot of good things already, and your endorsement only makes me want to hear it even more.
I guess part of the Earlimart album was produced or overseen in some way by Granddaddy, and though I give him a lot of credit and have enjoyed his work I really think Earlimart has taken that whole sound in the direction it needed to go, and saved themselves from the kind of stagnation I think Granddaddy is headed towards.

Posted by: Adam at November 2, 2004 3:23 PM
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