The power of instrumentation and Mary Lattimore’s Hundreds of Days

  1. Hundreds of DaysThe solo instrumentalists of the world are a unique breed. Where some musicians rely on fellow artists and in most cases, a voice to convey feelings and emotions, the solo instrumentalist must rely solely on their instrument and mind's creation. They don’t get the luxury of endless streams of verse to captivate the listener; no poetry or prose to confess one’s love for another. Instead, they must evoke feelings and emotions in the imagery of their soundscape, where their chosen instrument relates changes in sound and atmosphere. And considering she’s worked with the likes of Nick Cave, Thurston Moore and Kurt Vile it's fair to assume that Mary Lattimore knows a thing or two about captivating sound with her harp. Her skills are put to the test on Hundreds of Days.

Leaving Philadelphia for the ocean fresh coastline of Los Angeles is where the story of Lattimore’s latest release blossoms. Released on Ghostly International, Hundreds of Days contains 7 tracks recorded in a redwood barn nestled in the hills above San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

Opening track “It Feels Like Floating” begins with a beautifully fragile melody that is soon built upon with very subtle electronica as the finger-picked melodies remain the pensive focus. Just as you approach 5 minutes of this 11-and-a-half-minute song, a distant choir vocal lifts your thoughts someplace else. On the reverse, “Never Saw Him Again” is uplifting and sees more of an electronic presence intertwining with Lattimore’s harp; all the while offering a euphoric and chill-out vibe.

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If you don’t vocalise the themes of your craft then you can offer clues in the song titles, and that tactic is evident in “Hello From The Edge Of The Earth” and “Baltic Birch”. The foremost giving an elegant look at the natural world, whereas "Baltic Birch" is more sombre and aching, as time and space are stretched out to leave holes of hollow abandonment.

What Lattimore does brilliantly is to make music with a delicate tapestry of emotion. Her 47 string Lyon and Healy harp sets the tone for Hundreds of Days, as she weaves a subtle backdrop of sparse instrumentation into every song. There are beautiful moments of lingering time on the record, where you get suspended in the melodies she creates; before you come floating back to earth cleansed and refreshed.

Release: 18th May 2018, Ghostly International
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