For two years now, Mary Lattimore’s Hundreds of Days (2018), has been a close musical companion of mine, which means that I went into my first listen of Silver Ladders with high hopes. While it delivers the overwhelmingly emotional songwriting that I’ve grown to love from Lattimore, Silver Ladders takes on a darker, more foreboding quality than its predecessor. On the nearly 11-minute opus “Til A Mermaid Drags You Under,” Lattimore’s twinkling harp spasms and grasps for its usual reassuring quality, only to have echoey guitars and doomful bass overwhelm each attempt. Silver Ladders also sees Lattimore stray from her usual harp-centric soundscape on tracks like “Chop on the Climbout,” which opens with a warm bed of synths, whereupon twittering harps dance and scatter. By sharing the spotlight with synths and guitars, Lattimore’s harp becomes an accent to a richer foundation. Despite all its evolutions in tone and production, Silver Ladders remains true to the quintessential Mary Lattimore soundscape.
– Melanie Larson
4.5 out of 5