Have You Any Pills?

PJ Harvey and Brian Wilson go down easy, the 5,6,7,8's are harder to swallow

 

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Earlimart,Treble and Tremble (Palm Pictures) Aaron Espinoza doesn't sing sad songs, but sometimes the sad songs sing him. On his band's fourth full-length, a shiver of sleigh bells, static-laced tape loops, and rainy-sidewalk guitars tell a story the soft-spoken indie-rocker can't tell himself. His good friend and neighbor Elliott Smith helped write some of these chord progressions before committing suicide last October, and you can hear Smith trace a Figure 8 through each treble clef here, coaxing Espinoza to whisper his goodbyes. As piano keys flicker through the last dirge, a hush crackles like a needle against vinyl and Espinoza finally concedes. "It's okay to think about endings," he sings. But this ending comes too soon.

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