Mary Lattimore - Hundreds of Days
Hundreds of Days
Everything about this record screams tranquility. I know how odd that sounds, but the way Lattimore approaches ambient music is so different and so intoxicating it is simply undeniable. Her songs present themselves in this wide open way, completely approachable from the first moment her fingers touch the harp. Ghostly records, which is known for their avante garde electronic leanings has another gem with this album, allowing an artist to truly explore. Lattimore is already an accomplished Harpist and in all actuality didn't need to explore as much as this record does, but she stretches through different instrumentation including bringing in her own vocals for the first time. The album opens with the transcendent "It Feels Like Floating" that stretches out over eleven and a half minutes. A lot of the ambient music can sound silly in it's search for a chill sound. The pan flutes, the entire spirit of the genre has been a bit perverted but with Lattimore you remember what music like this can do and the kinds of places it can take you. "Never Saw Him Again" has more of punch than the previous track and allows you to bob your head as it takes you along it's plucky journey. You feel surrounded by magic and magical things like at any moment some fucking elf is going to pop out and take you on a wondrous journey. This sounds silly, believe me I know it, but the smile on your face will never leave as long as this album is running.
This music reminds you of a life well lived, of happy thoughts with friends and family. It may not be trying to do this, but at times it can feel like you are at a memorial of sorts, not surrounded by sadness, but more pleased with a life lived with beauty and wonder. There is also this great sense of grounding that Lattimore's music gives you. Rather than taking you somewhere a lot of time Hundreds of Days feels like it is asking you to look in and notice the details around you. "Baltic Birch" is one track that may get a touch too experimental towards the end and sort of close on this jumbled situation. However the song does add this large break in the middle of the album where things for a few moments aren't so bright and cheery, feeling a lot like life in that way. When she reaches more towards the middle is when the album falters some. Her sounds become to evocative and tied with something else losing some of that freedom that she is able to harness on the early tracks. Hundreds of Days is in the end a truly splendid album, something that you can take for yourself and hold on to as special. Sit back, close your eyes and allow Hundreds of Days to wash over you. You won't regret it.
9.0 out of 10