Atsuko Hatano “Fossilized Dreams”

I honestly don’t remember how I stumbled onto Atsuko Hatano’s beautiful, melancholic compositions last summer, but I’ve been hooked since. Her latest album, Fossilized Dreams, follows in familiar footsteps with timeless drones built around violin and effects, slowly rising and falling like a body taking its final breaths. Both “Bear’s Den” and the first half of “Brass Shoes” act as a compass pointing north, knowing the only way to find the beauty she seeks is through the dark and cold. Pouring out the other side of “Brass Shoes,” Hatano’s voice emerges as a beacon pointing to the promised land. Beautifully sculpted like a glass-blown flame, her stretched-out string melodies put you right to sleep in a soft, warm embrace.