The Contemplative Sounds of Latlaus Sky
Somewhere in between the acoustic melodies of Elliot Smith, the ambiance of Eluvium, and the reversed vocals of Thom Yorke, rests the contemplative space of Boulder’s most interesting musical project, Latlaus Sky.
Originating out of Portland, OR, artists Brett and Abby Larson, along with Joe Braun, have created a unique, organic sound that not only soothes the soul, but also engages the audience into a naturally meditative space.
“Rather than giving you something, we’re hoping to take something away from you,” states Brett Larson, the lead vocalist and innovator at the project’s foundation. “We want to crack your heart open and not put it back together, to leave that open space, and open up a big unanswered question. To find the raw experience of being aware. It’s an experience that is worth something, anything.”
Gaining momentum in 2007 after signing with 360 Records out of San Francisco, Latlaus Sky has released two major albums that have defined their sound. The first, an EP titled Swells, blends free-flowing melodies and simple chord progressions as the listener finds comfort in lofty vocals and ambient loops. Their second album, The End of Sorrow, brings a similar vibe, but showcases the band’s profound influence and artistic creativity.
The End of Sorrow, “an open-ended story with no specific ending,” is a saga that chronicles the life of man relatable to us all. While moments of the album evoke sadness, an underlying message focuses on the acceptance of human suffering, and the beginning of internalizing uncertainty.
While the band plays portions of tracks featuring their song writing abilities and free-flowing instrumentals, the members often find themselves improvising most sets to “really feel the room.”
As the audience receives a new set with a similar sound each time, the band members are just as excited to submerge themselves into something uniquely new as well.
“We had a time when we really wanted to take ourselves too seriously, but it got way too claustrophobic,” states Brett Larson. “Now we never tell each other anything. We never say, ‘hey could you give me more space for my vocals here? Could you two not play lead at the same time?’ We don’t discuss those things anymore. I think we all just rely on a lot of trust between us to say that this is just going to work out, and that really helps it work out.”
After five years of writing and critiquing The End of Sorrow, Latlaus Sky has begun work on their newest project, The Other Shore, a continuation of the never ending saga, the embodiment of existence. Mostly an instrumental album, the band strives to create something lasting and close to our hearts. “Music is powerful, especially instrumental music. It stays with you over years of your life, it doesn’t get so easily classified and then logged listened too or forgotten.”
As the band continues to play shows throughout the Boulder area at venues such as Innisfree Poetry Bookstore and The Laughing Goat, they continue to entangle their audiences into a spacious, enlightening moment, “…in a dream, in a trance of purposeful space,” states Abby Larson.
While they “hang in the pause” of each natural moment, Latlaus Sky is transforming music into a contemplative space that keeps us engaged and yearning to learn more.