Recording information: Barking Spider Studios.
Photographer: Nyree Watts.
While singer and songwriter Kath Bloom rarely recorded between 1984 and 1999, and was all but absent during the first part of the first decade of the new century, Thin Thin Line marks her second album in three years, following 2008's Terror. Bloom accompanies herself on acoustic guitar and recorder, backed by members of her Love at Work band. The 14 tracks on this set thematically illuminate the title. They are like virtually everything else in her catalog, only more so. The balance Bloom strives for elucidates just how narrow the barrier is between love and loss, and the hope, faith, and despair inherent in both. In the title track she states, in her plaintive, quavering voice, "...It's hard to remember where you've been/When you're in the kinda shape I'm in/But where I'm goin', it's not a sin/If you want to come along, just hop on in." It's a nearly ecstatic song of hope and longing. But contrast this with the album's third track, "Heart So Sadly," where Bloom states baldly, "When I see you comin' my way/I pretend I'm not at home/See you turn around so slowly/Then I cry, I'm all alone...You know I love you madly...but a heart proceeds so sadly/When it is afraid to live...." On every track, she ponders these topics and bares her heart nakedly and brazenly. These beautiful but sometimes nearly unbearably honest songs give the initial impression that they are fragile; not so. They are rooted in commitment and ferocity. For her love, as difficult as it can be to live with at times, transcends all doubt and hope. She exhorts her beloved to stand and fight for it in the gloriously tense "Like This." "Is This Called Living?" is a wearier side of the same conundrum, but she claims "It's amazing what we have when my heart listens." For Thin Thin Line's 53 minutes, Bloom exhaustively and unflinchingly gives voice to her most intimate sung poetry and convincingly argues in her tenderness that resurrection lies at love's end no matter what. ~ Thom Jurek