Earlimart, with Okkervil River

L.A.'s Earlimart sounds like a lightweight version of Californian psych-pop bards Grandaddy, which is not as much of a slight as you might think. Grandaddy guitarist Jim Fairchild is a new addition to the band, and he and front man Aaron Espinoza co-produced Treble & Tremble, Earlimart's latest album. The disc's title is way apt: tinny guitar strums and creamy keyboard plinks glued together with lots of white-noise tape-deck hum and forlorn lonely-instrument buzz. Espinoza's quavery vocals aren't quite as little-man-in-a-big-world as Grandaddy singer Jason Lytle's or Flaming Lip Wayne Coyne's, but they inspire plenty of hangdog pathos nonetheless. Live, the band's a little snooze-worthy, but in a way stressed-out studio engineers will likely appreciate.
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Mikael Wood