The Pearlfishers – Across The Milky Way 2-LP


Artist: The Pearlfishers
Title: Across The Milky Way
Format: 2-LP
Label: Marina Records
Release date: February 18, 2022

SKU: MA92 Category: Tags: ,



across the milky way
new stars
i was a cowboy
steady with you


sweet william
the vampires of camelon
we’ll be the summer
snow on the pines
paint on a smile


everything works out
shine it out
when the highway ends
is it any wonder

D  bonus tracks

over the headland
lust at luss
wa wa
on the waves

produced and arranged by david scott

recorded at east kilbride arts centre and on the fruitmobile

ekac and fruitmobile sessions engineered by david scott
recording assistant: jennifer hunter
secret music sessions engineered by kim planert and donald shaw
digital edits on ‘steady with you’ by paul mcgeechan at paw paw productions

mastered by stuart hamilton @ castlesound, pencaitland & norman nitzsche @ calyx, berlin

guitars, keyboards, bass and vocals • david scott
violins • jon beales, lawrence dunn, amy geddes and alison lucas
cello • wendy weatherby
contrabass • lindsay cooper
baritone sax, bass clarinet and flute • allon beauvoisin
trumpet and flugelhorn • colin steele
banjo and nylon strung guitar • johnny cameron
electric guitar • mick slaven, gabriel telerman
q chord • midori terasawa
drums and percussion • jim gash and derek star (‘shine it out’)

words and music by david scott
‘paint on a smile’ by david scott and duglas t stewart
all selections published by marina songs

drawings by mathabo
film stripe of david scott, aged 12, by tom scott
art direction & design: stefan kassel

executive producers: stefan kassel & frank lähnemann

release date: February 18, 2022 (MA 92)

Additional information

Weight 0,302 kg


Magnet, September 2001

“It should come as no surprise David Scott’s favorite album is ‘Pet Sounds’ or that he once produced an album called ‘Caroline Now! The Songs Of Brian Wilson And The Beach Boys’. Over a 10-year period, the Glasgow-based leader of the Pearlfishers has displayed a penchant for writing Wilson-ish soft-pop nuggets that will have you whistling down the sunny side of the street. On ‘Across The Milky Way’ (the first Pearlfishers record to be released with U.S. distribution), we’re again treated to an endless summer of carefree harmonies and sweet musings. On ‘We’ll Be The Summer’, Scott wistfully recalls, ‘I missed you in the chill of winter/ All the wide frosty roads stretched before me/ But springtime came and I began to feel alive/ I could see the good times coming.’ Indeed, then he swoops down with an oh-so-happy, ‘Then you came by, and I was the summer!’ His fullblown arrangements include violins, cello, trumpet, flugelhorn and banjo. In a musical universe filled with many Beach Boys devotees, the Pearlfishers stand above the crowded surf.” (Magnet, 09/01)

Spiegel Online, August 2001

“His dreamy guitar songs would do Robbie Williams good.” (Spiegel Online, 04/08/01)

UNCUT, August 2001

“Sun-kissed homage to the most baroque and extravagant sounds of the Sixties. Soppy boys infatuated with The Beach Boys and soft pop in general are hardly thin on the ground in Glasgow. Nevertheless, David Scott, songwriting pivot of The Pearlfishers, is remarkable in his devotion: he helped co-ordinate last year’s unusually decent Brian Wilson tribute LP, ‘Caroline Now!’. ‘Across The Milky Way’ is full of delicate West Coast vibes and ‘Let’s Go Away For Awhile’-style instrumentals. It’s hard not to be won over by the degree of affection that’s gone into the detailing here. Banjos pick their way daintily through orchestral fantasias, Scott gets rheumy-eyed at childhood reminiscences and, on the terrific ‘Sweet William’, shows how Roddy Frame might have sounded had he opted for good taste over rock’n’roll ambition.” (UNCUT, 08/01)

Seattle Weekly, June 2001

“Right now there’s enough trouble in my Shangri-la without pulling out the Marc Almond albums. So when I come home and want to hear something theatrical, emotional, and marked by artifice, yet something that won’t jangle my nerves any further, I pop on ‘Across The Milky Way’ (on Marina Recordings), the fourth full-length by the Pearlfishers, nom du disque of Glasgow’s David Scott. Scott could soothe an infant with his lilting tenor, even as he unspools lyrics like ‘Precious moments don’t mean nothing/they just leave you sick and restless’ (‘Steady With You’). He even makes masturbation sound innocent and sunny: ‘spilling my youth out in tissues on warm afternoons.’ The Pearlfishers’ sound is most commonly compared to Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys, which Scott has observed is inevitable any time a band uses more than three-part harmonies and the word ‘summer’ in the lyrics. But ‘Across The Milky Way’ also slots in nicely alongside seasoned indie-pop vets like Teenage Fanclub, the Pastels, and High Llamas in the five-disc changer. The instrumental ‘The Vampires of Camelon,’ featuring banjo and muted trumpet, suggests ‘The Rainbow Connection’ as arranged by Burt Bacharach, while it’s pretty plain from the cheery title track that Scott was first in line at his local record emporium to buy Paul McCartney’s ‘Wingspan’ retrospective. On the band’s web site Scott lists the Monkees, Paul Williams, Scritti Politti, Marvin Gaye, and, um, Eminem, among his current favorites. ‘Across the Milky Way’ is full of swinging ditties, like ‘Sweet William’ and ‘Paint On A Smile,’ about finding contentment in a complicated world, even as the CD serves as a shortcut to those exact ends itself (and without any undue histrionics). So, to my forlorn buddy who made the mistake of conducting a protracted breakup via e-mail, only to find his comments passed on to all his friends by a grumpy dumpee with an itchy finger on the Forward button, I offer this advice: Buy this CD. Skip to Track 7, ‘We’ll Be the Summer.’ Dance around the living room foolishly as Scott assures us that ‘the seasons change/so do lovers.’ Repeat as necessary. It’ll make you much happier than those 20 hits of E.” (Seattle Weekly, 14th ­ 20th June, 2001), June 2001

“The Pearlfishers are, in essence, David Scott. And David Scott may or may not be a pseudonym that Burt Bacharach works under these days because this record is a pretty close re-creation of his ’60s pop sound. Many of the tracks roll and loll along in the most relaxing manner with cellos and violins to add atmosphere behind Scott’s keyboards. A handful of others, such as ‘New Stars’ and particularly ‘Steady With You’ rock along in such a way that I can almost imagine them as the soundtrack while the frozen caveman chases Scooby Doo and the gang around the marina. From the photo of the kid on the beach flashing a peace sign to the childlike scrawls inside the liner to the song’s blissful, gentle harmonies, this might be the most innocent record I’ve ever heard.” (, June 2001), June 2001

“Last year, Pearlfisher David Scott spearheaded the fantastic tribute project entitled ‘Caroline Now! The Songs Of Brian Wilson’ (Marina), a simpatico labor of love featuring a couple dozen Wilson loyalists giving the man’s work a heartwarming treatment. In fact, every fan of Wilson’s work should snare a copy. It’s no surprise then, given Scott’s predisposition, that ‘Across The Milky Way’, the fourth installment of work by Scott’s Pearlfishers, is suffused with Wilson-inspired artistry and minor-key arrangements. But Scott’s own work doesn’t simply end there. He is a talented and accessible melodicist who, like Wilson, isn’t afraid to throw a sharp curveball at his listeners. Violins and cellos interrupt a propulsive new wave beat on ‘Steady With You,’ a banjo cuts through the same strings on ‘Sweet William,’ a Cole Porter piano trots the length of ‘Paint On A Smile,’ and a Bacharach trumpet adorns the sweet closer ‘Is It Any Wonder?’ Scott is a gifted songwriter, respectful of his heroes, but at the same time intent on forging his own style. It’s an impressive combination that ends with very impressive results.” (

Sunday Times, June 2001

“For more than a decade now, David Scott has been recording sublime, Beach Boys-influenced pop music without making much of an impact on the music-buying public – yet another artist who raises the question: why do all the songwriters who still write songs like they used to in the old days never seem to connect with the mass of people who mistakenly believe that nobody does any more?

This album is well up to Scott’s high standard, mixing lush, West Coast-harmony-drenched ballads with faster, janglier pop songs. But this beautifully crafted work is not just a Beach Boys tribute. Scott has his own distinct vision; and as a further point of difference, it’s unlikely that Brian Wilson ever suffered the ignonimy handed out to Scott when he was recently asked to play at a friend’s wedding. ‘Pick it up a bit, piano player!’ yelled the vicar!” (Mark Edwards, Sunday Times, 3 June 2001)

Rolling Stone, June 2001

“One should send this record to Malibu. Brian Wilson would be smiling.” (Rolling Stone, 6/01)

TV Spielfilm, June 2001

“Keiner nutzt das Erbe der Pop-Meister von Burt Bacharach ueber Brian Wilson bis Todd Rundgren so gewinnbringend wie der Schotte David Scott. Es klingt (Streicher, Fluegelhorn, Piano) nach 1967, aber es ist 2001 ­ manche Akkordfolgen sind eben unverwuestlich und ewig gueltig. Lern dies zu lieben, und dein Leben ist gleich viel schoener.” (TV Spielfilm, 06/01)

Intro, June 2001

“David Scott, Saenger und Komponist der Pearlfishers, stammt aus Glasgow und entwirft seine traumhaft arrangierten Pop-Arien dort, wo man getrost aus Zuckerwatte Noten stricken darf. The Pearlfishers, das ist eben ungestreckter Nektar aus einem edlen Kelch, kein Dosenbier im Keller. Auf seinem mittlerweile dritten Album klingt alles wieder etwas reifer und nachhaltiger. Mehr Blaeser und Streicher, mehr Stimmen, mehr Harmoniewechsel. Nach dem blendenden Auftakt (dem Titelstueck ‘Across The Milky Way’ und ‘New Stars’) wird die Platte dann ueberwiegend ruhiger. Die Pearlfishers muss man sich nach Hause nehmen. Beim Hoeren sollte man ruhig mal das Fenster zur Hauptstrasse schliessen, um den vollen feinen Hoergenuss zu bekommen. Wenn das gute Stueck spaeter im Regal entspannen will, dann gesellt es sich gerne zu Teenage Fanclub, den High Llamas oder ­ perfekterweise ­ zum ‘Caroline Now!’-Sampler, den David Scott letztes Jahr zu Ehren des genialen Brian Wilson mitproduziert hatte.” (Intro, 06/01)


“Beach Boys, Beatles, Bacharach: Glasgows Pearlfishers konsolidieren mit diesem Album ihren tadellosen Ruf, die womoeglich feinste Legierung aus klassischem Pop-Rock à la Beatles, ‘swooping Beach Boys harmonies’ und der Arrangement-Finesse Burt Bacharachs zu sein. Der einzige ‘echte’ Perlenfischer David Scott lieferte 13 neue Songs, von denen ‘New Stars’, ‘Sweet William’ und ‘When The Highway Ends’ zu seinen bislang besten Taten ueberhaupt zaehlen. Auch die Realisierung uebernahm der Multiinstrumentalist grossteils selbst, freilich unterstuetzt von einer Horde Streicher und Blaeser. Es mag ja kitschig klingen, aber hier stroemt der Wohlklang aus unvergifteten Quellen und gerinnt ohne chemische Zusatzstoffe spontan zu atmosphaerisch dichten Songs von grosser Haltbarkeit.” (TIP, 12/01)

WOM-Journal, June 2001

“David Scott meint es gut mit uns. Nicht nur, dass er letztes Jahr einer der Hauptaktivisten des grossartigen Brian-Wilson/Beach-Boys-Coveralbums ‘Caroline Now!’ war und sich in England mit Tribute-Shows für Ennio Morricone und Serge Gainsbourg einen Namen machte, er ist auch eifrig dabei, diese Welt mit seinen Pearlfishers eine bessere zu machen. Jedenfalls malt er uns ein Bild aus besseren Zeiten und bettet dies in einen zuckersuessen Luxus-Honig-Pop, der von unschuldigen Sommerurlauben am Strand traeumen laesst. Mit voller Orchesterunterstuetzung und exzessiver Melodiefuelle zaubert David Scott 50 Minuten Sonnenschein in unsere haeusliche Sphaere.” (WOM-Journal, 6/01)

Spex, June 2001

“Nichts forciert die Wirkung von Musik mehr als die Erwaehnung von Sonne oder Schnee. Diese Platte treibt einem Traenen in die Augen und laesst innerlich erzittern. Es ist ein ruhiger, friedlicher Fruehlingsabend.” (Spex, 6/01)


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