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Treble & Tremble

3.4 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 28, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Earlimart's second full-length for Chris Blackwell's Palm Pictures, titled Treble & Tremble, is filled with the warm vocals & expansive, orchestral rock arrangements that earned the band's 2003 releases The Avenues E.P. & Everyone Down Here critical praise from journalists & peers alike. Crafted with piano-driven melodies & layered in a patchwork of acoustic & electric guitars, peppered distortion & angelic strings, the finished tracks are an impressive display of singer Aaron Espinoza's matured writing & production expertise. The record was produced by Espinoza & Jim Fairchild (Grandaddy) under the production moniker Central Valet, at the band's collective Ship Studios in Eagle Rock, CA.

About the Artist

Earlimart’s Treble & Tremble is a reaction to someone leaving the room without saying a word. It’s a lush, haunting affair informed by loss, but with a determined effort to let go and move on, tying clean knots from a tangle of loose ends. With numerous references to telephones, reports, conversation and music itself, Treble and Tremble is about communication and how we fail to communicate. Yet, amid the white noise, the record is also a celebration of the moments we break through.

Treble & Tremble is filled with the warm, breathy vocals and expansive arrangements that earned the band’s 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 Espinoza’s expanding production expertise. The record’s greatest moments come in repeated listens, when the peppered distortion and crackling noise lifts to reveal striking parts inescapably missed.

Earlimart’s 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 band’s 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 band’s 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 Tremble’s soul is its second half. There’s 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 I’m out of reach/And all the songs are out of key," and returns, if only to remind himself, "Well I guess you just don’t know/You don’t know shit about me."

Unwavering and accepting, Espinoza closes Treble and Tremble on "It’s 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 album’s most poignant simple request: "Take care of your heart."

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Product details

  • Audio CD (September 28, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Palm Pictures
  • ASIN: B0002ZYEG4
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #355,588 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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