Meg Baird & Mary Lattimore's 'Between Two Worlds' Conjures A Spectral Sunset : All Songs Considered Guitarist and singer Meg Baird and harpist Mary Lattimore operate at the frayed edges of psychedelic music, sounding at once elegant and fuzzed-out.
NPR logo Meg Baird & Mary Lattimore's 'Between Two Worlds' Conjures A Spectral Sunset

Meg Baird & Mary Lattimore's 'Between Two Worlds' Conjures A Spectral Sunset

Mary Lattimore (left) and Meg Baird's first collaborative LP is titled Ghost Forests. Rachael Pony Cassells, Charlie Saufley/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Rachael Pony Cassells, Charlie Saufley/Courtesy of the artist

Mary Lattimore (left) and Meg Baird's first collaborative LP is titled Ghost Forests.

Rachael Pony Cassells, Charlie Saufley/Courtesy of the artist

Meg Baird and Mary Lattimore both operate at the frayed edges of psychedelic music, sounding at once elegant and fuzzed-out. Baird was in the folk group Espers, sings and drums in the sprawling rock band Heron Oblivion and has a few lovely solo albums of her own. Lattimore isn't just a harpist for hire (appearing on records by Sharon Van Etten and Steve Gunn), but also conjures new spheres from her strings, most recently on this year's Hundreds of Days. Both were friends in Philly, but it would take a move to different parts of California for the pair to collaborate on their first LP together.

Ghost Forests is as textured as a California sunset, as guitars, synth, harp and vocals bleed into the canvas with equal parts darkness and wonder. Five of the six tracks feature Baird's glowing voice and songs built from studio improvisations, but the opening track is entirely instrumental. Baird tells NPR Music that the spectral and slow-building "Between Two Worlds" came out of the duo's first experiments:

Of all the songs on the record, this one most captures the excitement of the "blank canvas" of this collaboration. It came straight from improvising when we were first getting sounds in the studio; unbeknownst to us, Thom [Monahan] had already started recording.

We've noticed we keep getting into the same zone when sound-checking. We wanted to experiment with new sounds from what the stage and room were giving us, and we'd have to remind ourselves not to drift into this improvisation too deeply, because there were other songs to play!

It's very natural to combine our personal sounds into one as we have similar influences and histories, and it's really pretty thrilling to listen and react. We hope this kind of restless, buzzing energy we've stumbled on while working together comes through really strongly in this piece.


Ghost Forests comes out Nov. 9 via Three Lobed Recordings.