Label: Bella Union Release date: 03/05/10 Link: Myspace MP3: Big Escape Buy: Ama Pearly Gate Music is some kind of wonderful meld of summery Beach Boys and ethereal Fleet Foxes. As the brother of J. (Josh) Tillman: Fleet Foxes drummer and acclaimed folk musician in his own right, Zach Tillman, under the guise of PGM has conjured something altogether more positive and lively than the secretive forest rustling of F.F. or the red wine and whisky heartache of his brother's solo work. Sticking to his roots and releasing his self titled album on independent Seattle record label Barsuk, home to David Bazan of Pedro the Lion, John Vanderslice and Rilo Kiley, Pearly Gate Music gives us a slice of Seattle sounds drenched in Californian sunshine rather than the afterglow of 90's grunge nostalgia one would ordinarily associate with its city of creation. Bookended between the stripped down and elegiac 'Golden Funeral' and 'Rejoice' are lively yet heartfelt tracks. 'Oh, What A Time!' brings to mind the joviality and playfulness of French duo Herman Dune, while the harmonica opening to 'Daddy Wrote You Letters' is reminiscent of Neil Young. What the Tillman brothers have achieved with an upbringing exposed to the same artists is so different that the only comparison between the two can be found in 'I Woke Up'. It is in this track's hushed baroque vocals - leading to a tenderly pretty build up of finger plucked guitar and the shuffling of percussion - that we recall heady summer days and strong CSNY vibes; whose influence is used to beautiful effect in the Fleet Foxes work. Pearly Gate Music is an excellent debut that successfully branches out from the shadows of the Fleet Foxes/Josh similarities likely to be hunted around for in light of this release. Yet there is no doubt that the vocal harmonies and hand-clapping accompaniments which Zach has recorded will be met with similar shouts and claps of praise from listeners. They are certainly deserved. Photobucket