Jeffrey Silverstein is back to center your mind and relax your soul with the mellow psychedelicized country of Torri Gates.
With the release of last year’s excellent You Became The Mountain, Silverstein proved to be a powerful force within the worlds of rural psych and ambient music. Following this album wasn’t going to be easy, and yet, even with just six songs, Silverstein amazingly surpassed himself.
Rich with dusty picking, crooning vocals and melty pedal steel guitar (provided once again by the great Barry Walker Jr.), Torri Gates is like the hippie western soundtrack you didn’t know you needed.
The EP opens with the sunny guitar-oriented soundscape that is “Beginner’s Mind,” which combines acoustic fingerpicking with soft waves of Walker’s pedal steel and a snappy electronic drumbeat*. It sets a deeply pleasant and chilled-out vibe that doesn’t let up for the remainder of the release.
From the serenely fried “Caught Behind The Hours” to the loner Ted Lucas-esque desert balladry of “Flowers on The Highway” and “River Running By,” this EP drips with an unrivaled amount of smoothness and warmth. Each song sways with a stoned tempo, while generously applied layers of reverb help to firmly keep the album leaning into the headier side of the cosmic American music spectrum.
While the instrumentation suggests wide, arid horizons with towering sandstone buttes and empty highways, Silverstein’s voice is so hushed and relaxed, it’s hard not to think of intimate late night rendezvous under the neon glow of a tavern window. To say the least, there’s quite a bit of beauty to be found in these songs.
This EP is an absolute gem that cannot be missed. Get your copy here right now.
*Editor’s note: The order of the tracks in my digital download was incorrect.