Earlimart – Everyone Down Here

Everyone Down Here

There are two sides to the band Earlimart. On the one hand, Eagle Rock, California’s Aaron Espinoza and friends offer lonely ballads, effortlessly mixing acoustic guitar, soft and mid-tempo vocals, and strings for a beautiful yet moving approach. And on the other hand, Earlimart show its indie-rock roots, ripping out fuzzed-out guitar numbers that would make Lou Barlow quiver with joy. While the two styles are rather disparate and don’t really mix in the same tracks here, Espinoza manages to make both types of offering work on Everyone Down Here, a quick but filling follow-up to the The Avenues EP.
None of the tracks from The Avenues are on this full-length, and I highly recommend the EP, as some of its lush and lovely tracks win me over completely. Some may find it a bit jarring to hear lush tracks coupled with the bigger rock moments and fuzzed-out guitars, but even moreso than on the EP, the styles come together better, even bleeding over so you hear distortion-laden guitars on the slower sounds and atmospheric keyboards backing the louder ones.
The opener, “We’re So Happy We Left the Piano in the Truck,” is the perfect introduction to Earlimart for any newcomer. The guitars here weave slightly distorted lines around each other, while keyboards and light drumming drift along the tune, and Espinoza’s vocals – backed with Ariana Murray’s backing vocals – are so clear, so perfect, that they may make you fall in love on first listen. I definitely appreciate Earlimart’s softer moments more, and tracks like the soft “The Movies,” the sort of plodding and moody “Hospital,” which uses some unique percussive techniques, and the soft but soothing pop of “Lazy Feet 23.” The sparse, almost desperate feel of “Big Ol’ Black” brings to mind the desert expanses and too-hot mid-afternoons. And the gorgeous piano-led closer, “Night, Night,” seems the perfect lullaby, a sweet yet searching track that thrives on Espinoza’s smooth voice.
There’s a big rock guitar sound on the otherwise poppy “We Drink on the Job,” perhaps the most head-bobbing track on the release. The short and sweet “Lost at Sea” blasts away with up-tempo fury, loud and frenzied, before taking a Sonic Youth-style change, slowing and getting moody but finishing loud.
Recorded in his own “Ship” studios, Espinoza, was aided in his production efforts on “We Drink on the Job” and “Big Ol’ Black” by Jason Lytle of Grandaddy. And fans of Grandaddy, Sebadoh/Sentridoh, and Sparklehorse will find a lot to love in this project. Yet Earlimart has a wholly new, original sound. At times beautiful, at times edgy, at times just plain poppy, this is an album for everyone.