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Earlimart

Earlimart makes the kind of music that keeps you company when you're feeling the most alone. That doesn't mean the group's latest LP, Mentor Tormentor, sounds lonely. Rather, it makes you feel better in the by-yourself times. It does such a good job, however, you want everyone you know to listen to it with you.

On "Nevermind the Phonecalls" and "The Little Things," the introspective dual male/female harmonies from core members Aaron Espinoza and Ariana Murray find a perfect balance set against a soft acoustic guitar. Meanwhile "700>100" is all uplifting happiness. And "Just Because" alternates between the plaintive pleas of a spurned lover and the back rubs shared by a content couple.

Earlimart has become an expert at walking a tenuous tightrope, with devastating lows at one end and great highs at the other. You're never sure if the group is intensely depressed, deliriously happy, or both. And you're never sure if you're feeling up or down when you're listening to it either, but you feel good when you have. Think of it as introspective happiness that percolates and lasts, rather than the bouncy, dopey kind of happy that ends like a caffeine crash.

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