HALLOWED BELLS "s/t" (Blight Records)

The Phillies. Hoagies. Cheesesteaks at Geno’s and Pat’s (fight me). Throwing batteries at Santa. Going down the shore. The Hooters. The Phillies. The Eagles. South Street. Springsteen. Blue collar. Man Man. The Phillies.

Hallowed Bells.

Darian Scatton and Alison Stout transcend all this stuff with some organs and some synthesizers. They scrape the shit from their shoes on the awful city streets and soar over the skyline, blooming with magic and light. Even the name “Hallowed Bells” evokes a sense of reverence, hushed whispers in remote monasteries. Maybe intoning these dense hymns awakens a deep, dark, forgotten power.

The melodies are gorgeous. The sound these instruments makes is gorgeous. It’s not ear candy, it’s ear comfort, like your eardrums are wearing the softest pajamas imaginable. Want an easy category? It’s sort of instrumental dream pop, maybe a little pastoral goth. As in, you don’t need to wear black or anything to enjoy it.

Whatever entity Hallowed Bells is conjuring, it will return to smite the City of Brotherly Love and remove it from the map, to return southeastern Pennsylvania to its beatific natural state. I’m OK with that. As long as it leaves Citizen’s Bank Park alone.

--Ryan Masteller