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"Hymn and Her"

Earlimart – Hymn and Her
26 August 2008, 10:25 Written by Alex Harvey

The rather prolific Earlimart have returned with their sixth album in nine years, the aptly titled Hymn and Her. Apt because there is now just two permanent members of the Californian band left and yep, you’ve guessed it, one is male, Aaron Espinoza, and one is female, Arianna Murray. Religious overtones are present too so the title gives you a bit of a clue as to what’s going on before you’ve even pressed play.

Opener ‘Song For’ gets things going in sprightly fashion with Espinoza’s voice in a soft calming manner that reassures rather than challenges. ‘Face Down in the Right Town’ brings the pace down a few notches and strums along nicely enough without really pushing any boundaries. Murray takes up vocal duties on ‘Before it Gets Better’ and sings lyrics like “It’s a bloodbath” and “It’s a death trap” with the sort of delicate innocence that’ll make you want to curl up with a cup of Horlicks rather than fear for your life. “It’s gonna get worse, before it gets better” she sings – how lovely.

I watch over you from above“, “People living on their knees, Jesus are you really there?” and “Heaven knows the reason, Heaven knows for sure” are lyrics that show off the prevalent religious theme of the record. Being at home and being where you belong seems to be another one, as our heroines search for some safety and comfort. They provide it as well because this album is a cosy blanket that will keep you warm at night.

A lazy Californian summer vibe comes across in some tracks and though you may not be investing in a hammock, it does take a load off after a hard day at work. Lush piano washes over ‘God Loves you the Best’ and ‘Before it Gets Better’, but while there are nice enough melodies and harmonies in Hymn and Her, there isn’t really anything that is particularly groundbreaking that’ll make you want to dig out their five previous efforts if, like me, you’re experiencing Earlimart for the first time.

Earlimart on Myspace

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