Various – ‘Loving Takes this Course: A Tribute to the Songs of Kath Bloom’

August 9, 2009 § Leave a comment

Published: The Big Issue #334, July/August 2009.

Loving Takes This Course: A Tribute to the Songs of Kath Bloom
Various Artists
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Known for her self-released recordings during the 70s and her long-standing collaboration with experimental guitarist Loren Conners the following decade, Connecticut songwriter Kath Bloom took an 18-year hiatus from recording to re-emerge with Finally in 2006.

This new tribute album  affirms the timeless qualities of Bloom’s song-craft. Drawing on artists from around the globe – anyone from Bill Callahan to Belgian indie kids Marble Sounds – the record delves deep into the Bloom archives, surfacing with some stunning, contemporary results.

Mark Kozelek’s hushed, understated take on ‘Finally’ and Melbourne songstress Laura Jean’s austere interpretation of ‘When I See You’ are two of the album’s most striking moments, while The Dodo’s yearning, reverb-dusted ‘Biggest Light of All’ and Devendra Banhart’s doo-wop wig-out ‘Forget About Him’ take her material in striking new directions.

There are a couple of missteps  (Mick Turner and Peggy Frew’s bumbling attempt at ‘Window’ for one) but for the most part, these wonderfully sensitive, intimate interpretations only add to Bloom’s reputation as one of the great, unsung American songwriters.

Dan Rule

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