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Album Review: Pearly Gate Music - 'Pearly Gate Music' (Bella Union)

A heavenly offering from Seattle's Zach Tillman

When the Grim Reaper finally takes his swing and we scamper up that golden staircase to stand before St Peter, in the few blissful seconds before he casts us down to the flaming torment where we rightfully belong, we hope that the harp-strains that catch our ears are as beautiful as this debut. Seattle songwriter Zach Tillman, brother of Fleet Foxes drummer Josh, is a self-confessed slacker with a saintly soul. He’s more a tortured and worldly Augustine that a smugly martyred Sebastian, though, and his beatific, spacious songs, as much Spiritualized as they are psych-folk, are often far from angelic. “Oh god, I’m an animal/Don’t tell anyone you saw the state I’m in”, he frets on ‘Gossamer Hair’. As reward for such sweet spiritual wranglings, though, comes the peace that passeth all understanding of ‘I Was A River’, where, radiant and clear, Tillman hymns “If I was your lapdog/I’d forget everything and just sleep”. Now, that sounds like heaven.

Emily Mackay

Click here to get your copy of Pearly Gate Music's 'Pearly Gate Music' from the Rough Trade shop
7 / 10

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