On The Rise: Pearly Gate Music rolls back the years on self-titled debut

05.17.10 8 years ago

Pearly Gate Music has a name that sounds vaguely religious and for some, I’m sure it will be.

With folk, alt-country and pure Americana influences, Zach Tillman’s songs are less so shoegaze than they are cloudgaze, should the stupidly-named-yet-apropos subgenre exist. The self-titled set from Barsuk, out tomorrow (May 18), is light, thoughtful, solitary; the layered harmonies and the acoustic guitar structures seem practically intuitive, like songs you’ve already heard, but surprisingly just remember.

Tillman runs the vocal gamut between a man in love and one that’s tortured by his love, with topics spanning personal sins to “the only man I ever loved/lived 2000 years before,” an almost cheeky devotion to the Christian Lord and Savior, if it didn’t sound so darn sincere. They’re anthem-hymns, whether personal or universal.

I’d be remiss not mentioning Tillman is the brother of J. Tillman, drummer for Northwest darlings Fleet Foxes and a songwriter in his own right. Looks like something’s long been at work in the Tillman family blood line.

I am obsessed with “Pearly Gate Music.” I think it is one of the most lyrically creative and melodically sound albums so far this year.

Listen to the album in full at BrooklynVegan, who must’ve won the internet lottery. PGM is on tour with Frog Eyes, who also put out a killer record this year.

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