If 2016’s At The Dam was a product of travel, Mary Lattimore’s follow-up album was created through immersion in its environment. Recorded in a barn in Marin County, CA, the surrounding nature was a significant influence on Hundreds Of Days, and because of this the album has a tranquil quality running through it.
The songs tend to feature elegant melodic figures played by Mary Lattimore on her harp, which form the basis of structures that build over the course of several minutes. Opening track It Feels Like Floating’s beautiful waltz-like tune is complemented by analogue synths which then take centre stage for an extended coda. Never Saw Him Again uses lengthy organ chords to create an underlying drone and sporadic drums, while Their Faces Streaked With Light And Filled With Pity has washy guitar accompanying its main melody.
The effect is cinematic, especially since these elements subtly add to the emotional weight of the compositions without distracting from Lattimore’s harp playing. The same can be said for the sonic effects that are put on the harp, as Baltic Birch’s flourishes are slightly distorted by a “space echo” which alters the pitch of the notes as they decay, and the motif of Never Saw Him Again becomes obscured by reversed layers of harp that seem to flutter instead of pluck.
If there is a critique to be made it is that the bass is sometimes a bit muddy, as the production can contain bass notes that clash with the lower notes of Lattimore’s harp. This is not an overwhelming flaw, however, as the mix is on the whole clear and pristine, and as the final piano and harp notes fade out at the end of On The Day You Saw The Dead Whale the lasting effect is one of calm contentment.