By Amber Webb
The art on their newest album resembles the scrapbook of a first-grader. Its lyrics are minimal and simplistic, but the thoughtfulness and instrumental depth of Earlimart”s music are refreshing and original.
Laden with deep, beautiful piano melodies interspersed with electronic beats, orchestral counter-melodies and guitar, Earlimart”s third and newest album, “Treble and Tremble,” is diverse and emotional.
Band-members are quick to mention that although the album hinges on depressing, the message is one of hope.
“It”s about trying to triumph in the face of adversity,” said Earlimart”s keyboardist Jim Fairchild, who also plays for Grandaddy. “Right now there needs to be some optimism. At any given point you can point towards the bad things.”
Inspiration for the lyrics and music came from events leading up to the making of the album, said Fairchild. Following the passing of their friend Elliott Smith, to whom the album is dedicated, band members were deeply shaken.
“There”s a lot of songs about not having the chance to talk to someone anymore or wishing you had said things,” lead singer/songwriter Aaron Espinoza said in an interview with RES Magazine. “The record is probably 90 percent about Elliott, truthfully.”
Recorded in The Ship, a studio constructed by Espinoza, “Treble and Tremble” features the musical evolution, from writing and performing punk anthems in previous albums, to showcase a style of slow, pensive ballads. The music tantalizes with careful time changes. With the use of tempo, rhythm and instruments, the album varies from song to song, leaving the listener wondering how to classify the music.
“I”m very, very proud of this record,” Fairchild said. “It”s always hard work, but I love making records with Aaron and Ariana.”
Earlimart kicked off a promotional tour September 27 at the House of Blues in Anaheim, Calif. the day prior to their album”s release. The band”s tour will bring them to Salt Lake City tonight, where Smith played his final concert last fall, at the University of Utah.
They will perform with The Annuals, Gift Anon and Vista Four at Kilby Court, and some BYU students appreciate the chance to see them.
“Earlimart”s the coolest mix of the Pixies and Sparkle Horse, rooted in the raddest concoction of Built to Spill and Sonic Youth with a chronic acoustic low-fi sound,” said Chris Wallace, a senior from Gilbert, Ariz. “In a nutshell, the raddest band since Grandaddy.”
While previous Earlimart concerts were known to vary from recording sessions, the band is making a special effort on their tour to stay true to their latest album.
“None of us were born with more than four limbs,” Fairchild said. “That”s the difficulty with playing live because there”s just so much going on.”
Fairchild, a nine-year member of Grandaddy said his collaboration with Espinoza has forced him to venture to horizons beyond his comfort zone.
“It”s always good for a person to step outside of their element and shake things up,” Fairchild said.