Los Angeles Harpist Mary Lattimore Teams Up with Slowdive’s Neil Halstead on New Ghostly Album
'Silver Ladders' LP is scheduled for October 9 release.
Lattimore, a Los Angeles-based harpist, met Halstead through a mutual friend at a festival, and she asked him if he’d be interested in producing her next next record. He was, and his touch leaves a “profound trace,” Ghostly, the label behind the release, explains.
The pair recorded the album over nine days at Halstead’s studio stationed in Cornwall, on the south coast of England. It finds Lattimore’s sprawling layers of harp accented by flourishes of low-end synth and Halstead’s guitar.
The material is colored by specific memories for Lattimore: “Neil has this poster of a surfer in his studio and I’d look at it each day, looking at the sunlight glinting on the dark wave,” she recalls. “In these songs I like the contrast between the dark lows and the glittering highs. The gloom and the glimmer, the opposites, a lively surfing town in the winter turned kinda rainy and empty and quiet.”
Three of the seven songs are existing demos and the others are improvised. Among the batch Lattimore brought with her, the title track recalls a trip she took to Stari Grad, Croatia on the island of Hvar.
“I spent some days there just swimming in the bay, silver ladders right into the sea,” she says. The image stuck with her when she found herself performing at a cliffside wedding overlooking the Pacific. Before anyone showed up, she had time to set up and the song came to her. This sketch expanded, and now a delicately glittering harp melody comes over the horizon, swelling towards the shore on ebbs of synth and refractory delay.
Inspired by a story that Halstead shared with Lattimore, “Don’t Look” is the score to a beach-side tragedy of four adults who died rescuing some teenagers who had been surfing and found themselves in trouble.
Since 2018, when she released Hundreds of Days, Lattimore has toured internationally, released collaborative albums with artists such as Meg Baird and Mac McCaughan, and shared a friends-based remix album featuring artists such as Jónsi and Julianna Barwick.
01. Pine Trees
02. Silver Ladders
03. Til A Mermaid Drags You Under
04. Sometimes He’s In My Dreams
05. Chop On The Climbout
06. Don’t Look
07. Thirty Tulips
Silver Ladders LP is scheduled for October 9 release. Meanwhile, you can pre-order here, and stream “Sometimes He’s In My Dreams” below.