-
neumu
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 
-
-
--archival-captured-cinematronic-continuity error-daily report-datastream-depth of field--
-
--drama-44.1 khz-gramophone-inquisitive-needle drops-picture book-twinklepop--
-
Neumu = Art + Music + Words
Search Neumu:  

illustration



edited by michael goldbergcontact


Earlimart's Songs Of Loss

From the opening piano chords of "Hold On, Slow Down," through the sardonic whisper of "All They Ever Do Is Talk," all the way to the gentle, brush-punctuated waltz of "It's Okay to Think About Ending," Earlimart's Treble and Tremble is haunted by the shadow of loss. One particular loss, in fact, has left a strong mark on this ethereal album — that of the band's friend and mentor Elliott Smith, who died shortly before the band began recording.

"We were on the road supporting our last record when he passed away," remembered Aaron Espinoza, Earlimart's singer and main songwriter, in a recent telephone conversation. "We came home, canceling the rest of our tour, I guess it was November, and then started writing right away, partly because we felt like... it felt sort of natural, but also because we were supposed to turn a record in at this point, too. It's kind of a hard thing to navigate, the business side of it and the heart side of it. OK, you have to make a record, and what are you going to write about?"

Yet though Treble and Tremble cannot help but evoke Smith, in its history, its lyrics and its soft, haunting sound, Espinoza said that he hopes the CD doesn't get pigeonholed as a tribute album. "We're not the flag-bearers. We're not dressing up in a costume to represent the legacy of Elliott Smith at all," he explained. "I think people can get a lot out of this album without having to know about Elliott Smith."

Still, there's no denying Smith's influence on Espinoza and the band, both personally and musically. "I was a big fan of his before I ever became friends with him," he said. "He's so honest and truthful and just so good that he definitely had to be an influence. He's probably one of the most intelligent people I've ever met in my entire life and had the biggest heart ever made."

He added, finally, "Elliott was the type of person, when you have those people in your life, you realize that there's something special happening. You're there with them; when they let you in, that's the best feeling in the world."

Many listeners turn to music to help them deal with pain and loss, and Espinoza says that making music serves some of the same purpose. But, he added, "It's not completely 100% therapy. I'm not real good at writing happy songs. I feel like, you know, songs are just sort of snapshots of the day. It might be 10 percent of the day, the song, but there's a whole other 90% of the day that doesn't feel that way."

In fact, there's a subtle uplift to many of the songs that makes even the most lyrically sad ones feel hopeful. "The Hidden Track," for instance, is built on a chugging guitar and bright-toned keyboard that seems to be moving up and on, even as the lyrics describe driving by the house of someone who isn't there anymore. "I feel like a lot of songs have these... kind of like a triumphant feeling at the end, sort of like the end-of-the-movie music, not necessarily like 'woo-hoo!' but sort of a resolution," says Espinoza.

Treble and Tremble is softer and more orchestrated than previous Earlimart records, whose fuzzy guitars and driving rhythms drew comparisons to The Pixies and Pavement. Recorded at The Ship, the studio Espinoza built and equipped himself, the record is more collaborative than any past effort, with a rich and evocative blend of traditional rock instruments, strings and keyboards. "When I started writing the songs, it might have started with something as simple as voice and guitar, but I left room for other things, and it didn't have to be set in stone," he said. "Then I turned it over to the band, and we fleshed it out and put stuff on it. I let the verse breathe, I guess. It's kind of a rough sketch when I bring it in."

There are a couple of harder-rocking songs on the album, including "Sounds" and the amusingly titled "Unintentional Tape Manipulations." Espinoza said the title was inspired by a fan's letter. "This guy had written and said, basically, I love the songs and everything, but your records are too short and the songs are a little too short," he explained. The writer went on to make a few suggestions. "He said, if you're short on songs or the record's too short, maybe you might consider some more segues and sonic landscapes, because that's what I do. I just make little sound collages, and I make unintentional tape manipulations."

He closed by saying that if Earlimart couldn't make longer songs and longer records, he might have to reconsider his fan-ship. " Tape Manipulations," which clocks in at 5:55, is for him.

Espinoza says that for him, Treble and Tremble represents a significant advance, but that he is still not as good as he wants to be. "You know, on both ends, the production side is getting stronger and stronger and more refined, and it's kind of the same thing with the songs. The more you do it, the better you get at it. Your ears get stronger and you start trusting yourself a little more. Melody comes through. More like I said, I'm trying to be more honest with myself." But, he added, "I'm still far away from being where I could be... which is a good thing. I think that if I was ever like, 'oh, you know, I've made it,' I might as well not be doing this anymore."

Earlimart are touring the South and West Coast through the end of December. For complete dates, see Earlimart's section of the Palm Pictures Web site. — Jennifer Kelly [Monday, December 13, 2004]


Alejandro Escovedo's Joyous Rebirth

John Vanderslice Kicks Genre

Paul Duncan's Elusive Pop

Stephen Yerkey's Wandering Songs

French Kicks Complete 'Two Thousand'

Spazzy Romanticism: Love Story In Blood Red

Brain Surgeons NYC Rock The Big Questions

Jarboe's 'Men' Charts Turbulent Emotions

Delta 5's Edgy Post-Punk Resurrected

Blitzen Trapper Spiff Things Up

Minus Five: Booze, Betrayal, Bibles and Guns

New Compilation Spotlights Forgotten Folk Guitar Heroes

Chris Brokaw's Experiment In Pop

Old And New With Death Vessel

Silver Jews: Salvation And Redemption

Jana Hunter's Beautiful Doom

Vashti Bunyan Finds Her Voice Again

Nick Castro's Turkish Folk Delight

Katrina Hits New Orleans Musicians Hard

Paula Frazer's Eerie Beauty

The National Find Emotional Balance

Death Cab For Cutie's New Album, Tour

Heavy Trash's Rockabilly Rampage

Help The Wrens Get Their Albums Released!

Devendra Banhart, Andy Cabic Launch Label

Lydia Lunch's Noir Seductions

Bosque Brown's The Real Deal

PDX Pop Now! Fest Announces Lineup

Sarah Dougher Starts Women-Focused Label

Jennifer Gentle's Joyful Psyche

Mountain Goat Darnielle Gets Autobiographical With 'Sunset Tree'

Mia Doi Todd's Beautiful Collaboration

Return of the Gang of Four

Martha Wainwright Finds Her Voice

Brian Jonestown Massacre's Acid Joyride

Solo Disc Due From Pixies' Frank Black

Heartless Bastards' Big-Hearted Rock

Mike Watt's Midlife Journey

The Black Swans Balance Old And New

Nicolai Dunger's Swedish Blues

The Insomniacs' Hard-Edged Pop

Yo La Tengo Collection Due

Juana Molina's 'Homemade' Sound

Beans Evolves

Earlimart's Songs Of Loss

Devendra Banhart's 'Mosquito Drawings'

Negativland Rerelease 'Helter Stupid'

Alina Simone Transforms The Ordinary

Sounds From Nature: Laura Veirs

Octet's Fractured Electric Pop

Sleater-Kinney Working With Lips Producer

The Cult Of Silkworm

The Evolution Of The Concretes

Devendra Banhart's Exuberant New Songs

Catching Up With The Incredible String Band

Gram Rabbit's Desert Visions

Three Indie-Rock Stars Unite As Maritime

Remembering Johnny Ramone

Jarboe's Many Voices

Phil Elvrum's Long Hard Winter

First U.S. Release For Vashti Bunyan Album

Incredible String Band To Tour U.S.

New Music From Lydia Lunch

Le Tigre Protest The Bush War Presidency

Joel RL Phelps: Bleak Songs Rock Hard

Time Tripping With Galaxie 500

Patti Smith Wants Bush Out!

Sharron Kraus: A New Kind Of Folk Music

The Fiery Furnaces' Psychedelic Theater

Harder, Heavier Burning Brides

Sonic Youth's Ongoing Experiment

The Dt's Do It Their Way

Poster Children Cover Political Rock

Rare Thelonious Monk Recordings Due

Uneasy Pop From dios

Beck, Lips, Waits Cover Daniel Johnston

Understanding Franz Ferdinand

The Truly Amazing Joanna Newsom

Mylab's Boundary-Crossing Experiments In Sound

Have You Heard Jolie Holland Whistle?

The 'Magical Realism' Of Vetiver

The Restless, Rootsy Songs Of Eszter Balint

The Sun Sets On The Blasters

Devendra Banhart To Tour U.S.

The East/West Fusion Sounds Of Macha

Destroyer Gets Mellow For Your Blues

TV On The Radio Get Political

Sonic Youth, Modest Mouse To Play Lollapalooza 2004

New Music From The Fall

Apocalyptic Sound From The Intelligence

Fast And Rude With The Casual Dots

'Rejoicing' With Devendra Banhart

New Album, Tour From The Polyphonic Spree

Shearwater Take Wing

Sleater-Kinney To Tour East/West Coasts

Resurrecting Rocket From The Tombs

Visqueen Want To Get A Riot Goin' On

Lloyd Cole Makes A Commotion

Funkstörung's 'Cut-Up' Theory

Waiting For Mirah's C'mon Miracle

Electrelane Find Their Voice

The Television Is Still On!

Experimental Sounds From Hannah Marcus

The Ponys Play With Rayguns

Ex-Mono Men Leader Returns With The Dt's

Mountain Goats' Darnielle Adopts A More Hi-Fi Sound

Sun Kil Moon To Tour U.S., Europe

Nothin' But The Truth From The Von Bondies

Sultans Survive 'Shipwreck'

Sebadoh Reunite For Spring Tour

Xiu Xiu's 'Reality' Rock

Meet The Patients

Beth Orton, M. Ward Make Sadness Taste Sweet

Oneida's Pathway To Ecstasy

Radiohead, Pixies, Dizzee Rascal To Play Coachella

Young People Tour Behind War Prayers

Pixies Tour Dates Announced

Ani DiFranco Tells It Like It Is

Deerhoof Back For 2004 With Milkman

McLusky Set To 'Bring On The Big Guitars' Again

Pixies Reunite For U.S., European Tours

American Music Club, Decemberists To Play NoisePop 2004

Damien Rice Set To Tour U.S.

The Frames Accept Your Love

Punk Rock's A-Frames To Re-Record Third Album

Finally! Mission Of Burma Record New Album

A Solo Detour For Ladybug Transistor's Sasha Bell

Return Of The Old 97's

Spending The Night With Damien Rice

Tindersticks Reissues Due This Spring

The Evolution Of 'A Silver Mt. Zion'

Neil Young Rocks Australia With 'Greendale'

Poster Children Back In Action

'The Great Cat Power Disaster Of 2003'

Chicks On Speed's Subversive Strategies

Oranger At A Crossroad

Peaches On Tour And In Control

Jawbreaker's Complete Dear You Sessions To Be Released

Belle & Sebastian + Trevor Horn = Sunny Pop Nirvana

Von Bondies' Pawn Shoppe Heart

Descendents Are Back!

Modest Mouse Touring; Album Due in 2004

London Suede Take A (Permanent?) Break

Saul Williams Wants You To Think For Yourself

The 'Zen' Sound Of Calexico

Elliott Smith Dead AT 34

Debut Due From Mark Kozelek's Sun Kil Moon

The Hunches: Music That'll 'Fucking Live Forever'

Vic Chesnutt Speaks His Mind

90 Day Men Cancel Tour

Keith Jarrett, Cecil Taylor Highlight SF Jazz Festival

For My Morning Jacket, It's The Music That Matters

EP Due From The Polyphonic Spree

Bright Eyes, Neva Dinova Collaborate On EP

The Rise & Fall & Rise Of Ben Lee

Catching Up With Cheerfully Defiant Tricky

Hanging Around With The Polyphonic Spree

Sophomore Album Due From The Shins

Noise Rock From Iceland's Singapore Sling

Death Cab To Tour U.S.

Rufus Wainwright's Want One Is 'Family Affair'

Death Cab's Transatlanticism On The Way

Heartfelt Rock From Sweden's Last Days Of April

The Minus 5 Get Down With Wilco

Tywanna Jo Baskette's Southern-Gothic Rock

Xiu Xiu's Stewart Takes On 'Gay-bashing'

Portishead Producer Resurfaces Behind New Diva

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Wire, Primal Scream On Buddyhead Comp

Yeah Yeah Yeahs To Tour West Coast

Sonic Youth, Erase Errata Kick Off 'Buddy Series'

The Locust Are One Scary Band

Damien Rice In The 'Here And Now'

Remembering Karp's Scott Jernigan

ATP-NY Postponed 'Til At Least 2004

The Soul Of Chris Lee

Gits' Frenching The Bully To See Re-Release

Stephen Malkmus Is In Control

Superchunk To Release Rarities Set; Teenage Girls To Swoon As A Result

Summer Touring For The Gossip

Babbling On About Deerhoof

Irish Song Poet Damien Rice's O Released In U.S.

Chatting With ATP's Barry Hogan

Former Digable Planets Frontman Surfaces With Cherrywine

ATP L.A. Festival Rescheduled For Fall

Freakwater's Janet Bean Takes A Solo Turn

Lee's 'Cool Rock'

Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs Highlight YES NEW YORK

Mark Romanek's 'Hurt' Revives Johnny Cash's Career

The Rapture's Post-Punk, Post-Dance Sound

R.E.M., Wilco, Modest Mouse Highlight Bumbershoot Fest

Set Fires To Flames' Sleep-Deprivation Sound

Southern Gothic Past Shadows Verbena's La Musica Negra

The Subtle Evolution Of Yo La Tengo

Spring Tour For Jolie Holland (Plus A Live Album)

Liz Phair Still Pushing The Limits

Gold Chains Wants You To Dance And Think

Young People's War Prayers On The Way



peruse archival
 



-
-snippetcontactsnippetcontributorssnippetvisionsnippethelpsnippetcopyrightsnippetlegalsnippetterms of usesnippetThis site is Copyright © 2003 Insider One LLC
-