C/Site Recordings / US / 2021 / 7"
Kath Bloom is a quietly legendary artist. From her early work with Loren Connors, to her appearance in Richard Linklater’s 1995 film Before Sunrise, to international tours, and accolades from some of music’s biggest names, Bloom has truly had a stellar career. Yet she somehow still alludes widespread notoriety, culling instead a cult following of dedicated fans.
Bloom started releasing music in the late 70s through New Haven, CT based micro-label Daggett Records, and later St. Joan Records. While these records did not attract much attention in their day they are now hailed as forgotten masterpieces of fragile, introspective folk. Bloom would then take a long pause from performing or releasing music publicly, though she never stopped writing. In the late 90s Bloom reemerged with occasional releases and performances.
In 2017 she began collaborating with guitarist David Shapiro, who is known for his work under solo moniker Alexander, as well as performing with psych wanderers Headroom and experimentalists Center. This collaboration has led to a resurgence in Bloom’s career. She is performing and touring more than ever and is recording more new material than she has for some time. In 2020 Dear Life Records released the album Bye Bye These Are The Days, and those sessions also birthed the three tracks of this brand new Long Way To Go Home 7”.
The tracks here feature a stripped back sound akin to Bloom’s earliest work with Loren Connors. While Bloom and Shapiro perform as a duo, Shapiro’s playing is noticeably different from Bloom’s previous collaborators and breathe new life into her songs. The title track’s penetrating melody and stunning harmonica work truly showcase Bloom at her best, with Shapiro’s guitar weaving the perfect counterbalance to it all. On side B Bloom picks up the recorder to add a contemplative lead line to Shapiro’s wonderful fingerpicked composition. And finally, “Baby I’m The Dream“ features another textbook Bloom melody with near-perfect interplay between the two guitarists.
Kath Bloom remains an enigmatic figure in the world of music. Her chilling tunes and haunting vocals can break the most hardened of hearts and have won her fans the world over. Even after four decades of work she remains a passionate artist and this little slice of recordings proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that she remains as a dynamic and mystifying voice.