Much has happened in the five years since Earlimart released its sophomore effort, the raucous Kingdom of Champions, which drew comparisons to the Pixies and X. Three years later, songwriter/guitarist Aaron Espinoza, bassist/keyboardist Ariana Murray and drummer David Latter took a sharp left turn, reinventing themselves as the properly medicated cousins of Elliott Smith. Earlimart began crafting dreamily produced (often by Grandaddy's Jim Fairchild), emotionally affecting singer-songwriter rock that put the "sing" in "depressing." On last year's Treble and Tremble, the trio continued to ponder its soft underbelly, creating the same kind of heartbreaking, pristine pop at which the late Mr. Smith so excelled. Though Earlimart's records have headed into kinder, gentler musical territory, the act's live shows still contain elements of that early boisterous energy. Espinoza and company might break your heart, but they're just as likely to break a few strings in the process.
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