By Kathryn Pinto
“10 Years” System Preferences (The
Until September, Ship Collective founders Earlimart hadn’t released a record since their work with Jason Lytle (of Grandaddy) on Admiral Radley. Earlimart’s Aaron Espinoza was also busy running his recording studio and record label The Ship. Before the release of System Preferences you were as likely to see Espinoza beardless and incognito stirring it up after the midnight sets at the Satellite with whomever had the moxie or ill fortune to challenge him in debate. The new album proves that Espinoza and bandmate Ariana Murray still have the slow burn songwriting fans fell in love with on earlier records.
2. The Hectors “Your Favorite Year" (upcoming self-released album)
The Hectors are the best kept secret in Los Angeles, at once one of the most serious bands around and the kid who takes one look at the music business and--bat and ball in hand--takes off down the block. This album exudes total reverence for their craft but punk rock in attitude and all else. The cool musical reference for these guys is some band on K Records sufficiently esoteric that you—and even I--have never heard of them. Just throw something more obscure than The Spinanes and Beat Happening on top of your standard Pavement and shoegaze references.
3. Sea Wolf “Old Friend” Old World Romance (Dangerbird)
Alex Church and his band return to the golden coast with Old World Romance. The sound is a warm rich amber glow, equal parts California sun and embers and low flame of a gypsy campfire somewhere in Eastern Europe. Church is as near and familiar as, “Yeah, Alex used to work here as a day job,” and as Hollywood distant as a guy who has a song on a Twilight soundtrack. Even on record Church is as soulfully shy as halting tangential talkstory at the merch table.