I can just picture Zach Tillman as a young, struggling songwriter. Living in his talented brother’s shadow (Zach is the younger brother of Josh Tillman, drummer for Fleet Foxes), tirelessly honing each part of his powerful blending of folk, country and the more subtly rebellious elements of post-punk.
Perhaps his spiritual leanings on his self-titled debut come from plenty of soul-searching while his gift for melody and the spacious arrangements that surround them began to fully form. Zach sings over top of little more than some gently strummed guitar and wire-brush drums on “I Was A River”: If I still loved you, I wouldn’t be free. If I still loved you, you know where I’d be. He communicates the pain and the longing, guys.
Some of Tillman’s debut is precisely what his stage name would suggest. That is, it sounds like music you’d hear while quietly praying to save your soul in a nearly-empty church somewhere. But that’s not to say he doesn’t know how to go up-tempo. On “Big Escape,” the first single from Pearly Gate Music, Tillman breaks out his sunnier, more rambunctious side. There’s even some “ooo ooo” s going on.
So I present to you the evidence that the Tillman clan is one very talented family.
“Big Escape” By Pearly Gate Music (From Pearly Gate Music, out now on Barsuk Records)
“I Was A River” By Pearly Gate Music (From Pearly Gate Music, out now on Barsuk Records)
“Sleeping With Bears” By Pearly Gate Music (B-side on Big Escape single, out now on Barsuk Records)
You can grab all these songs in our widget to the right, as well!