Earlimart – Treble & Tremble

EarlimartReleased: 2004
Bought: Jumbo Records, Leeds, 2005
Rating: 74

I’ve neglected this blog quite a bit over the last few weeks, and have been embarrassed that The D4 review is the one I’ve left at the top. While I think I’m going to have to make my reviews a little shorter than they have been (they currently take ages to write), they’ll not all be as short as that one. I’ll pick things up again with Treble & Tremble by Earlimart, which I found in the Jumbo Records bargain bin in Leeds for about two quid while I was at university.

In the liner notes, Earlimart declare that “Treble & Tremble is dedicated to our friend Elliott Smith” whose death probably coincided with the writing of this album. As a result, his influence is all over this record (whispery vocals, sad words dressed up in bright melodies), and there are some moments of touching poignancy, such as the lyrics of “Hold On Slow Down”, which opens the album, and the whole of “Heaven Adores You”.

As well as Elliott Smith, the breathy vocals and breezy melancholy also remind me of Holes In The Wall by Electric Soft Parade, especially on “All They Ever Do Is Talk” and “Sounds”. Treble & Tremble could almost pass as the American companion piece to that album, which is definitely no bad thing at all. My only gripes with it are that it suffers from being a little over-earnest at times, and the whispered vocals do start to get a little bit samey (as with Calexico earlier), but it’s an album that I always enjoy every time I put it on. Definitely £2 well spent, and a band to investigate further.


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