music journalist since 1992 | educator since 2004 | podcaster since 2020 | Iranian American since birth
Reviewed for Under The Radar Magazine:
Earlimart System Preferences (The Ship)
Earlimart goes almost undetected among the plethora of musicians that come out of Los Angeles. The longstanding group has paired down to core members Aaron Espinoza and Ariana Murray and returns with System Preferences. The duo employs electronics in a way new to its style, rather than updating the patented shimmering Earlimart sound, but the studio element dates System Preferences. The album has sharper edges than we’re used to from Earlimart. To enhance these angles is a dissonance that at times, such as on the Murray-vocalized “10 Years,” recalls the Raveonettes at their best. Balancing the modernity is the pleasing crackle of vinyl on “A Goodbye” and the unexpected ‘50s-jukebox-ready “Lovely Mary Ann.” When Espinoza and Murray join their voices on “97 Heart Attack,” Preferences develops even more definition.