Everyone Down Here
The impression I get of Earlimart is a one-man indie band, writing lo-fi songs and recording them at the highest, most inappropriate fidelity possible. However, Everyone Down Here’s frictionless surfaces allow none of the intended lo-fi basement studio grime to collect and thrive on any of these songs’ undercarriages. Instead, the album is freshly showered and ready to become the belle of the college radio ball.
Sure, songwriter Aaron Espinoza is adept at writing catchy songs; just listen to the faux electro-farmboy groove on “We Drink on the Job” and “Burning the Cow.” This, however, does little to excuse all the extraneous sampled garbles that clog up every other track on the album. On actual dirt-poor recordings, these sounds could act as a counterbalance, a way to drown out the poor production. Here it just seems like artifice, included only for the sake of genre compatibility.
If I caught a song from this album on a mixtape from a friend, I’m not sure I’d fast forward right away. But I’d still wish Espinoza would squash some of the sheen, give his songs a good roll in the dirt and bruise a little more life into them. Until that happens, my finger’s going to be hovering a hair’s breadth above the > > button.