The extraordinary creative partnership of New Haven, Connecticut duo Kath Bloom and Loren Connors has haunted fans of fragile folk and blues since the early 80s.
Kath taught herself guitar during shifts as a janitor at a New Haven cemetery, while Loren’s free-form idiosyncratic style had been developing since the late 60s. Between 1981 and 1984, the duo recorded two live and four studio albums, mostly self-released in tiny quantities.
Early on, their music mixed folk and blues traditionals with a handful of Kath’s vulnerable, moving originals. By the later albums the songs were all Kath’s – her fragile voice and subdued finger- picking set against Loren’s abstract but always supportive playing. Together the duo created a sound almost impossibly emotional and haunting.
Moonlight emerged as the duo’s final album in 1984, in an edition of 200-300 copies. As her creativity accelerated, Kath’s songs became looser and more intuitive, but Moonlight contains an early version of one of Kath’s most beloved songs, Come Here. Loren’s longterm collaborator Robert Crotty contributes electric guitar to a couple of tracks.
By 1984, Kath was married with a young son, and Connors was entering a new relationship, so the duo found themselves drifting apart. Kath did not release anything again until a 1993 solo cassette Love Explosion, but then developed a devoted cult following through the pivotal use of a new recording of Come Here in Richard Linklater’s 1995 film Before Sunrise.
Kath has since released three solo albums on Chapter Music (Finally in 2005, Terror in 2008 and Pass Through Here in 2015), as well as the Bloom tribute album Loving Takes This Course, featuring covers by the likes of Bill Callahan, Mark Kozelek, Devendra Banhart, Josephine Foster and many more.
Loren also retreated from music for a period until re-emerging in the late 1980s. He is now recognised as a pioneering guitar explorer, and has worked with the likes of Thurston Moore, Keiji Haino, Jim O’Rourke and many more.
After reissuing four of Kath & Loren’s landmark albums on CD in the late 2000s, Chapter has now embarked on the first ever vinyl reissues for these remarkable records. Another 1984 album Restless Faithful Desperate was reissued in 2018, while 1983’s Sand In My Shoe will be released alongside Moonlight in October 2019.
Moonlight includes five digital-only bonus tracks of rare 1984 live recordings, as well as comprehensive digital liner notes.