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Boomkat Product Review:
Mark Kozelek's Caldo Verde imprint releases a brand new Kath Bloom album, featuring fourteen new songs from the legendary Connecticut songstress. Bloom was probably best known for her creative relationship with Loren Connors between the late seventies and early eighties, but since Richard Linklater's use of her music during his film Before Sunrise in the nineties (something mentioned in every Kath Bloom press release you'll ever read) there seems to have been a steady climb in awareness of her work, culminating in Chapter Music's retrospective (titled Finally), 2008's comeback record, Terror, and last year's Loving Takes This Course, a double album that was both a best-of package and a tribute record featuring the likes of Bill Callahan, Devendra Banhart and Mark Kozelek himself. This new collection of songs is being touted as a bit of a Vashti Bunyan-type exercise in late career resurgence and rediscovery and of course there are obvious parallels to be drawn between these two grande dames of folk music, but while for Lookaftering Bunyan had Max Richter on hand to help ease her back into the recording process, Bloom steers her own ship, co-producing a very raw, lo-fi collection of songs with Dean Pawlowic. All this helps imbue Thin Thin Line with a rugged, weather-beaten authenticity, and it seems that Bloom is at her best when she's at her most unconditioned and unassisted, as on the beautiful, wailing 'Another Pint Of View'. There's a genuine, heartfelt mournfulness to Bloom's voice here, teetering on the brink of unhinged frailty but ultimately resounding with dignity and sincerity.