The second of Chapter Music’s double disc reissues by extraordinary early 80s folk duo Kath Bloom & Loren Connors.
Meeting in 1976 in their hometown New Haven, CT, Kath Bloom and Loren Connors formed a creative partnership that has haunted psych-folk fans ever since, releasing six albums of fragile avant-garde folk-blues in miniscule quantities, all of which now change hands for huge sums.
After self-releasing two limited edition live albums, the duo recorded Sing The Children Over for tiny Boston label Ambiguous Records in 1982, and then in 1983 self-released fourth album Sand In My Shoe.
Early on, their albums mixed traditional folk and blues songs with a handful of Kath’s vulnerable, moving originals, but by the later albums, the songs were all Kath’s – her fragile voice and subdued finger-picked guitar set against Loren’s abstract playing, sometimes atonal but always intuitively supportive.
Their last two albums Restless Faithful Desperate and Moonlight both emerged in 1984, in editions of 200-300 copies on Loren’s St. Joan label. As her creativity accelerated, so Kath’s songs became looser, more intuitive, with a darkening of tone and an eventual abandonment of intent to shape the music.
The songs were still there, however – Restless contains one of her most gorgeous compositions Look at Me, while Moonlight includes an early version of Kath’s signature tune Come Here. By 1984, however, Kath was married with a young son, and Connors himself 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 Come Here in Richard Linklater’s 1995 film Before Sunrise.
She has since released two solo albums on Chapter Music, as well as the recent Bloom tribute album Loving Takes This Course, featuring covers by the likes of Devendra Banhart, Bill Callahan, Mark Kozelek, 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 a quarter of a century, Kath Bloom and Loren Connors’ incredible recordings are finally available again. The reissue includes extensive liner notes, original photos and artwork, and six bonus tracks taken from a rare 1982 compilation and an unreleased 1984 live session!
“Devastating songwriting…the cult singer-songwriter’s weary voice gnaws into the listener’s hide.” – NPR
“Unlike anything else of its time in its mix of the conventional and avant-garde” – Allmusic
“(Kath Bloom) is teetering on a Vashti Bunyan level of rebirth” – Pitchfork