Kath Bloom

Sing the Children Over

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The albums recorded by Kath Bloom and Loren Mazzacane Connors are both unique and not as different from expectations as they could be. They're unique in that they don't sound like the work of any other artists; they're not unique in that, in common with numerous other cult musicians, many of their albums don't actually differ that much from the other. What this means is while this 1982 LP couldn't be clearly tagged as one to start with or necessary to obtain if you're interested in what they do, it is fairly typical of their idiosyncratic approach. It's not quite folk, not quite blues, and not quite avant-garde; it's something of all of these forms, with Bloom's wavering voice intoning delicate, precious songs as Connors plays his similarly quavering folk-blues guitar. What sound like barely there moaning backup vocals hover somewhere in the background, adding much to the ghostly quality of this low-volume recording. It should also be said that, for many listeners, Bloom and Connors hover not just between the hazy edge dividing folk from blues, but also the line between the professional and amateur. That naive, naturalistic quality will charm some (though having a taste for indie auteurism will help), and drive many more mainstream listeners up the wall. If you like your laid-back music with a little bit of a weird kick, though, this (and several other, similar Bloom-Connors albums) is among the best that small subgenre has to offer. On this particular outing, Bloom writes almost half the material (including one song co-penned with Connors), the pair's stamp also getting put onto some traditional tunes and bluesman Robert Johnson's "Last Fair Deal." In 2008 the album was reissued as one disc of a two-CD set that also included their 1983 record Sand in My Shoe, with the addition of three non-LP bonus tracks from the early '80s.