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Treble & Tremble is filled with the warm, breathy vocals and expansive arrangements that earned the bands 2003 releases The Avenues E.P. and Everyone Down Here critical praise from journalists and peers alike. Crafted by piano-driven melodies, layered in a patchwork of guitars and strings, the finished tracks are the accomplished efforts of Espinozas expanding production expertise. The records greatest moments come in repeated listens, when the peppered distortion and crackling noise lifts to reveal striking parts inescapably missed.
Earlimarts progression from an X- and Pixies-inspired experimental punk band to their current sound is the result of experience and process. Espinoza, raised in Fresno, CA near the tiny Central Valley town that inspired the bands name, along with Los Angeles native and original member Ariana Murray (bass, keys), grew out of their influences and defined their own signature by years of touring and self-recording.
A one-sided conversation spoken in futility and giving up to hope, the album's first track, "Hold On Slow Down," keys punctuate swirling synths and crackling static until it falls away and re-emerges as the intrepid crescendo that opens "First Instant Last Report." "The Hidden Track" is the perfect Earlimart staple, a classic pop song that begins with layered acoustic guitar and warm vocals eventually building into an overture of keys and cellos and crashing cymbals.
Treble & Tremble was produced and recorded by Espinoza and Jim Fairchild (Grandaddy) at the bands Ship studio, home to a collective of like-minded artists nestled in the foothills of Eagle Rock, CA. The Ship studio has also earned a reputation outside of its usual crew, hosting sessions by the Folk Implosion, the Breeders and Elliott Smith. Along with performances by Murray, contributions to the record came from Earlimart drummer David Latter, Scott McPherson (Elliott Smith) and Brian Thornell (Pine Marten).
Treble and Trembles soul is its second half. Theres a vintage Seventies riff that punctuates the quiet regret in witnessing the destruction of "Broke the Furniture," followed by the thunderous guitar-driven catharsis and unsettling mechanized vocals on "Unintentional Tape Manipulations." That storm yields to the beautifully fragile "Heaven Adores You," easily the most heartbreaking song the band has written to date. The suite "Tell the Truth Parts 1 & 2" is at times Lennon-esque: stark, spare and inquisitive with its bleeding heart stitched to a sleeve, a song that asks a few last, lingering questions and teeters close to resignation. Espinoza sings, "I know Im out of reach/And all the songs are out of key," and returns, if only to remind himself, "Well I guess you just dont know/You dont know shit about me."
Unwavering and accepting, Espinoza closes Treble and Tremble on "Its Okay to Think About Ending," easing in with a simple piano and vocal melody before unfolding into something understated yet gorgeous, its orchestral instrumentation delicate and offering the albums most poignant simple request: "Take care of your heart."
Earlimart - Treble & Tremble
Recorded at The Ship in Eagle Rock, CA
Mixed at King Size in Eagle Rock, CA by Dave Trumfio and Michael Krassner
Mastered at Capitol... Read more
I was in Washington DC and there was a used book store that had a table outside of used CDs for $1. I found this Earlimart CD but it was $2 and then and there I knew it was... Read morePublished on October 16, 2012 by S. Herrera
Music: 5/10 Vocals: 1/5 Lyrics: 3/5 Production: 4/5
Total: 13/25: C-
I have a friend named Earl. I downloaded Earlimart. Earlimart is much cheesier than Earl. Read more
The first time I heard this cd, I was minding my own business at a bookstore in Houston. I was suddenly hit with 'Hold On Slow Down' which generated an intense sadness as I too... Read morePublished on September 5, 2005 by Hedgewytch66
First off, I know nothing about this band or the guy who died who has been mentioned in other reviews, so I can't compare this cd to their past works. Read morePublished on January 11, 2005 by Living in the Limelight
This album is magnificent. Earlimart has gone from college echoe rock to beautiful piano enriched indie space rock. Read morePublished on December 6, 2004 by M. Willden
Jesus, you'd think Elliott Smith was the only artist who'd ever recorded a batch of beautiful melancholy songs. Read morePublished on November 29, 2004 by James Bunnelle