Before Sleep Comes



01. My Singing Bird
02. Before Sleep Comes
03. She Moved Through The Fair
04. I'll Walk Beside You
05. Camomile
06. Be Still Now
07. Nora

08. The Water Is Wide
09. She Sings Her Songs With Open Eyes
(Bonus Track: Shock Records)
10. Salt Water

All songs are written and composed by Luka Bloom IMRO/MCPS
My Singing Bird, traditional, arranged by Luka Bloom
She Moved Through The Fair, traditional, arranged by Luka Bloom
I'll Walk Beside You, by Edward Lockton & Alan Murray
Nora, traditional, arranged by Luka Bloom
The Water Is Wide, traditional, arranged by Luka Bloom

Luka Bloom - Spanish Guitar and Vocals

Recorded at The Old Mill, Naas, Co. Kildare, Ireland, October 2003.
Recording engineered by Mark Gavin
Mixed and mastered by Brian Masterson
'Camomile' painted by Brid óg Norrby
Artwork designed by Turlough Rynne
Project Coordinator: Niall Rynne

© 01-02-2004 Luka Bloom - Big Sky Records (Ireland)
Skip Records (Germany) | Shock Records (Australia) | Bar/None Records (USA)

Before Sleep Comes is a special CD, designed to give people something calm to listen to before going to bed at night. It is 28 minutes long, 9 tracks, two of which are instrumental. I got the idea for the CD in the Summer, when my tendonitis was bad, and I was playing soothing little things on my Spanish guitar. I grew to love this time each day; wrote some soft songs; decided to record it in the Old Mill nearby...

There with Mark I recorded these tracks over two nights. Late at night, with the wind blowing. I recorded when I was tired myself. This is a CD of non-performance. It's purpose is to help bring you closer to sleep, our sometimes elusive night-friend.

It's a special project, and I hope you like the result.

Luka Bloom

Before Sleep Comes is chill-out music for the soul. Irish singer-songwriter Luka Bloom created this intimate album specifically for late night listening, for those last moments of wakefulness when the imagination remains fertile but the flesh is often worn out. Its purpose, he explains, "is to bring you closer to sleep, our sometimes elusive night-friend." But Luka may have thwarted his stated purpose: he performs elegantly austere new songs and covers traditional ballads in such a quietly compelling manner that one would find it almost impossible to drift off while these gorgeous grownup lullabies are spinning.

It was in the early months of 2003 that fate, not design, pushed Luka away from his signature style - the high-energy, quick-handed attack he took on his steel-string guitar - towards a more contemplative approach on a nylon-stringed instrument. A bout of tendonitis in his right hand, a recurring ailment, had seriously sidelined him, making it painful to do gigs or even write songs. While being treated by a physical therapist, he picked up his Spanish guitar and gingerly started to pick. As Luka explains, "After a few weeks of really soft playing, I became fond of it, and began to feel very relaxed with this style of playing, almost non-playing. I began to play ballads, and soon found myself singing and writing whispery songs. I was doing this daily, and by August, I realized that this needed to be recorded."

Luka completed Before Sleep Comes over the course of two windy nights in autumn 2003 at the Old Mill, a lovely, off-the-beaten-path studio near Naas, County Kildare. He'd previously cut most of his 1998 Salty Heaven there, the most elaborate production Luka had undertaken in his then decade-old recording career. This time was dramatically different: just Luka's bedroom-volume voice, his Spanish guitar and his midnight confessions, all captured in the wee small hours.

"Rarely does quietude translate so powerfully on record," said Irish Times critic Siobhan Long in a four-star review, "and rarer still is the bottling of an artist's personal happiness as successful as this beautifully somnambulant album... Luka fuels this gentle mix of original and traditional tunes (including a finely understated reading of 'The Water is Wide' and an even finer snapshot of the twilight zone that is the title track) with minimum intervention beyond strings and larynx. One for the witching hour." - The Irish Voice simply declared, "It feels like Luka has made a record just for your nightstand."

Before Sleep Comes is not so much a radical change for Luka as a deeper exploration of a particular aspect of his craft. He's long been known for creating rousing, anthemic tracks like 'The Acoustic Motorbike', 'Delirious' and 'Perfect Groove' that bring crowds to their feet at his concerts. But Luka has been equally adept at composing romantic slow-burners - like 'True Blue', 'Don't Be So Hard on Yourself' and 'Love is a Place I Dream Of'. Evocative new after-hours tunes like 'Camomile', 'She Sings Her Songs With Open Eyes' and 'Before Sleep Comes' will surely come to rank with the best of Luka's balladry.

Album Reviews:
Cindy Reich, Celtic Connection
Alice Farrell, JigTime
Thom Jurek, All Music Guide
David DeVoe, Hybrid Magazine
more reviews...

Treaty Stone In Groningen No Heroes Luka Bloom Riverside The Acoustic Motorbike Turf Salty Heaven Keeper Of The Flame The Barry Moore Years Between The Mountain Amsterdam Before Sleep Comes Innocence
Tribe The Man Is Alive Eleven Songs Dreams In America This New Morning Head And Heart Frugalisto Refuge Sometimes I Fly Live at De Roma Bittersweet Crimson

© Rena Bergholz - Luka Bloom Page