Treble and Tremble

Palm Pictures

With Treble and Tremble, singer/songwriter Aaron Espinoza sets a romantic breakup to music. It’s a painful album about love, obsession, loss and depression; qualities to which anyone who’s ever had their heart broken can surely relate. Despite Espinoza’s airy vocals, which remind me of The Jesus and Mary Chain, the most obvious influence that will just scream out at the listener is Elliott Smith. Smith, who was continuing on with what Nick Drake had done in the early ’70s.

With that being said, the songs on this album are strangely haunting. Beautifully sad, to the point where I had to lay down on my bed and reach back into my head for past moments of depression. “The Hidden Track” brought me way back: “I wanna drive by your house/just to see if you’re around/and I’ll be waiting there for you/you oughta know by now.” Wow, that was my life at age 17. I got so lost in the bittersweet memories and the dreaminess of the music that I fell asleep.

When I came to an hour later, I grabbed some coffee and restarted the record.

The song, “First Instant Last Report,” is the strongest track on the album. Earlimart combine soft vocals with indie pop in a way I haven’t heard since Lush in the mid ’90s. The trouble is the unoriginality of the sound. It’s really hard to think of this album as anything other than an Elliott Smith rip-off. It’d be one thing if this was an accident, an artist merely following his artistic muse and ending up on a well paved road, but the album is dedicated to Elliott Smith! That either makes it worse, or a sweet tribute; I’m not sure which.

I do know this: Treble and Tremble is a great CD to fall asleep to, and I’m always on the look-out for those!

Earlimart: www.earlimartmusic.com

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