Luka Bloom's Latest is a Real Snooze-Fest

Usually an aggressive Irish folkie with a penchant for some mad strumming, Mr. Bloom delivers a real snoozer on this 9 song set. If it puts you to sleep Bloom will be happy, for that is his intent.

After suffering a painful bout of tendonitis last year, Bloom was forced to curtail his performing and playing, managing only soft strums and gentle picking on a Spanish guitar. He became enamored of the soft style after a while, and began writing songs to capture the mood, singing them in a near whisper.

In the summer of 2003 he decided to record them plus one cover and three traditional tunes at The Old Mill near Naas, late at night when he was tired and ready for sleep.

An album of “non-performance” is how he characterizes it in the liner notes, but that's hardly fair. Instead you'll find the performances intimate and the tunes soothing-even if the usual “new age” snooze music infuriates you.

The traditional “My Singing Bird,” opens and sets the mood, followed by “Before Sleep Comes,” which gets down to the business at hand. If that doesn't knock you out, perhaps the next track, the familiar “She Moved Through The Fair,” which Bloom picks with great grace and skill, tendonitis notwithstanding, accompanied by birds-in-a-field sound effects, will. “I'll Walk Beside You,” the set's only cover is a comforting number that can be taken as secular or as a religious message of faith.

And so the calmative songs flow until you either doze off, or at the very least reach a state of welcome relaxation. The warm, intimate production and sound aid in setting the mood, though the bottom end sometimes sounds almost muddy to the point of distortion. If you're not in a state of deep relaxation when Bloom finishes “The River is Wide,” you need something stronger, like, say, Ambien.

An unlikely find in a stack of new noise that has offered me a respite from a stressful period. At 27 minutes, it's more of an EP than a full set, but since the purpose is to put you to sleep, that's plenty. I hope it's priced accordingly. By the way, if you ever see Bloom's 1990 Warner Brothers LP Riverside in the used bins, don't pass it up. And don't expect it to put you to sleep!

sophia123's picture

I agree to this. It is definitely a real snooze fest. i love it so much. - YOR Health