We all have girl crushes, right?! I mean, there are the big A celebs like Jessica Alba that make me wonder if it's even legal to look that good ... but, MY girl crush - of course - plays music. Her name is Ariana Murray and she's the bass player / keyboard player for Earlimart!
I had the pleasure of seeing Earlimart at the 400 bar in Minneapolis last week and it was great! A simple indie rock sound mixed with Aaron Espinoza's soothing vocals and Ariana's adorable talent put a smile on my face all night long!
Named after a small town outside of LA, Earlimart got its start when frontman Aaron Espinoza moved from Fresno to a house in Silver Lake (LA) with four roommates - one being Ariana! At the time, Elliott Smith lived in their neighborhood and Aaron has been linked to music production for Elliott - as well as The Breeders. Well, Aaron and Ariana started a relationship and the four roommates eventually began the Earlimart music project. Of course, Ariana and Aaron called it quits and the band went their separate ways. Aaron then wrote the "Everyone Down Here" album and it's rumored that Ariana heard it and was so impressed that she set aside their rocky relationship history and rejoined the band! They have been making music ever since!!!
The setting for the Earlimart show was perfect! It was a cool fall night in the Midwest and the entire stage was covered with fall leaves! Strings of amber lights bundled up with the leaves surrounded all of the instruments and Aaron even had a few leaves attached to his guitar! With the stage lights dim - their amber strands set the intimate scene well. There were even cricket sounds that moved the set from song to song. I truly felt as if I were sitting in a backyard. Earlimart is so simple - yet there is something impressive about the way it all comes together.
At the end of the show, I got a chance to talk to Ariana. She's very magnetic! I'm never starstruck but she is so humble and adorable that it's hard not to stop and stare. After saying "you're awesome" a few times - I purchased their new album "Mentor Tormentor" and was on my way. It's really a great disc! Very fun and happy! I still think their single 'All They Ever Do Is Talk' is my all time favorite Earlimart song ... but, the piano on 'Happy Alone' is very pretty and Ariana's voice is angelic.
On a side note, the Chicago band Office opened for Earlimart. I enjoyed them very much. They have a rad chick drummer named Erica Corniel and their guitar player, Scott Masson, plays his instrument upside-down ... rather interesting. Scott also told a funny story about how he ran away from home when he was 14 and drove a car to Minnesota. Haha! Check out their songs 'The Ritz' or 'Oh My' ... it will get your foot tapping.
*by Jen Panczenko, who is currently eating apple pie!