Memories — places, vacancies, allusions — are fundamental characters in Mary Lattimore's evocative craft. Inside her music, wordless narratives, indefinite travelogues, and braided events skew into something enchantingly new. The Los Angeles-based harpist recorded her breakout 2016 album, At The Dam, during stops along a road trip across America, letting the serene landscapes of Joshua Tree and Marfa, Texas color her compositions. In 2017, she presented Collected Pieces, a tape compiling sounds from her past life in Philadelphia: odes to the east coast, burning motels, and beach town convenience stores. In 2018, from a restorative station — a redwood barn, nestled in the hills above San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge — emanates Hundreds of Days, her second full-length LP with Ghostly International. The record sojourns between silences and speech, between microcosmic daily scenes and macrocosmic universal understandings, between being alien in promising new places and feeling torn from old native havens. It's an expansive new chapter in Lattimore's story, and an expression of mystified gratitude. A study in how ordinary components helix together to create an extraordinary world.
Paul McCartney produced this debut album of twee but pretty, romantic pop-folk. Besides "Those Were the Days" (which actually originally appeared only on the US version, though it's on the CD reissue now available throughout the world), the highlights are Donovan's "Lord of the Reedy River" and "The Honeymoon Song," which McCartney himself had sung with the Beatles way back in 1963 on the BBC. If there's a fault to be found, it's that there's too high a percentage of pre-rock/pop standards à la "There's No Business Like Show Business." As it turns out this was more due to the leanings of McCartney than Hopkin, who preferred the more simply arranged folk numbers such as the Donovan covers and the Welsh "Y Blodyn Gwyn." Also on board is a rather nice composition, "The Game," by Beatles producer George Martin, who contributed some piano and orchestra conducting to the album. The CD reissue includes George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin's "Someone to Watch Over Me" (which was on the original U.K. version of the LP, but was taken off the American counterpart), as well as the "Those Were the Days" B-side "Turn! Turn! Turn!" and versions of "Those Were the Days" that Hopkin sang in Italian and Spanish.