Reviews \

Earlimart Lifts the Seattle Clouds at Chop Suey

With a little help from their friends, the sunshiney outfit brought smiles to their Pac Northwest fans.

Karalee Sargent // July 23, 2008

It was a dreary, cloudy evening in Seattle last night (July 22). It was hard to believe it was the middle of summer… that is, until Earlimart took the stage at Chop Suey to share a bit of California sunshine with the city’s weary denizens.

With dried flowers and garlands of white Christmas lights adorning the stage, Aaron Espinoza and Ariana Murray brought an atmosphere of warm festivity to the intimate gathering of fans. Backed not only by a projection screen flashing calm and haunting visuals, they were also joined by former Grandaddy frontman Jason Lytle on backup vocals.

The group kicked off the well-rounded set with several tracks from their latest album, Hymn and Her, released just a couple weeks ago. The sleepy Seattle fans perked up as soon as the first few notes of the title track permeated the room. After “God Loves You the Best,” “Face Down in the Right Down,” “Cigarettes and Kerosene,” and “Before It Gets Better,” the entire audience was grinning and swaying with the dreamy guitars and snappy snare drums.

Like swimming through a good dream, the soothing songs were enhanced by projected visuals of stallions in fields, aerial views of pods of whales, and underwater shots of opaque invertebrates wiggling across the screen, a treat since videos are a rare commodity during shows at Chop Suey.

The highlight of the night was Murray’s whispery lead vocals as the group wrapped up their set with “Happy Alone” from last year’s Mentor Tormentor. The venue fell silent as she tapped the melody on her keyboard and Lytle provided broken harmonies during the chorus. And although Earlimart played late into the night, the fans remained through the entire set and eagerly met the band as they emerged from backstage for the encore.Check out photos from last night on page 2

Former Grandaddy frontman Jason Lytle sitting in with Earlimart. / Photo by Alex Crick

Earlimart’s Ariana Murray tunes up. / Photo by Alex Crick

Earlimart’s Aaron Espinoza gets the mood going. / Photo by Alex Crick

Espinoza rocks out by candlelight. / Photo by Alex Crick

Murray conjures up the evening’s rhythms. / Photo by Alex Crick