Mary Lattimore

Hundreds of Days

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Harpist Mary Lattimore recorded her first album for Ghostly International, 2016's At the Dam, while traveling throughout the United States, stopping at Joshua Tree in California as well as a friend's house in Marfa, Texas. By the time she released Hundreds of Days in 2018, she had settled in Los Angeles after a lengthy stay in Philadelphia, where she had become an intrinsic part of the city's indie and experimental music scenes, as well as a residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts, located in the Bay Area. Hundreds of Days was born from this residency, and it's shaped by the memories of her past experiences as well as the hope and excitement of her new life on the West Coast. On this album, she expands her sound to incorporate keyboards, guitars, theremin, and other instruments, while keeping her majestic harp playing at the forefront. The 11-minute opener, "It Feels Like Floating," revolves around a gentle, looped harp melody, which is fleshed out by subtle layers of shimmering organ and ethereal, sighing vocals, as well as distant birdsong. The piece has a sort of melancholy swing to it, but it still sounds light, sunny, and peaceful. "Never Saw Him Again" unexpectedly adds sparse, lo-fi drum-machine beats, somewhat recalling Jefre Cantu-Ledesma's later solo work, and while Lattimore adds a drizzle of static and distortion, she doesn't go anywhere near as overboard. Harp notes are played forward and in reverse at the same time, and a layer of organ shines underneath. "Baltic Birch" is another epic, which builds upon a strange gothic Europop melody and gradually gets deeper and darker, throwing in some of Lattimore's usual twisted delay effects to create a sense of disorientation. While Lattimore's extended experiments are captivating, one of the album's most touching moments is the brief, direct "Hello from the Edge of the Earth," a simple melody that seems halfway between a heartfelt apology and an expression of deepest appreciation and gratitude. Hundreds of Days finds Lattimore gracefully adapting to her new surroundings, adding new dimensions to her sound but keeping its dreaminess and sentimentality intact.

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