Many traditional instruments invoke specific mental images in the listener, but few will be as ingrained as those of the harp; once feted as a device of the angels as they lay around with little else better to do, more recently they’ve been sometimes relegated to background music at big Corporate yahoos whilst the guests celebrate their billion dollar IPO.
Mary Lattimore might’ve done a gig or two like that, but the harp has such a resonance and evocative quality that when truly understood by such an imaginative craftsman, Silver Ladders escapes any notions of cliché.
Perhaps one of the reasons for this was a muse called Britain. After being introduced to Slowdive’s Neil Halstead the two agreed to work together in his Cornish studio, an environment surrounded by rugged ancient coastline and yet populated by surfers and others drawn in by the possibility of a different lifestyle.
Halstead’s gift is in knowing when and where to add his subtle touches – a moody synth drone, a caressed guitar chord – whilst the swirling atmospheres of Chop on The Climb Out and ‘Til A Mermaid Drags You Under are undulating and darkly seductive. Too good for playboy millionaires, Silver Ladders is a celestial treat.
You can read the full review here.