It’s hard to imagine it’s much fun writing pessimistic soft
pop about being sort of miserable and maybe a little angry. (Even after you add
strings and horns and stuff.) And there’s no guarantee that Earlimart’s Aaron
Espinoza and Ariana Murray actually like it. There is, however, no doubt that
they’ve gotten incredibly good at it. The result is a mini-masterclass in how
to craft achingly gorgeous songs in a small studio with an acoustic guitar.
Full of subtle hooks and ear-catching surprises, it’s perfect for filling up
some silence. A refinement of last year’s expansive Mentor Tormentor, H&H boasts tightness in contrast, as one song laces itself into the next, until
time has run out and it’s hard to remember what you were feeling before it all
got started. With this, the duo’s first try in an attempt to release an LP
every twelve months, there’s finally reason to smile.
Standout tracks: “Facedown
In the Right Town,” “Before It Gets Better” ZACHARY BLOOM
[Photo Credit: Darrin Noble]