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Thomas Comerford – Photo Credit: Jim Newberry.
A “blood moon” is a total eclipse of the moon. The earth blocks the sun’s light, transforming the moon’s color to a deep brownish-red as it transits the night sky. After tracking several songs one evening in September 2015, songwriter Thomas Comerford and the players ventured out onto the roof of the studio around midnight to witness an enormous blood moon hovering there, as if just above a nearby building in the Chicago skyline.
Comerford and the group — Tatsu Aoki (Miyumi Project), Crystal Hartford (Hartford-Focht), Gregg Ostrom (Old Town School of Folk Music), and Seth Vanek (Health & Beauty, Roommate) — had been working on a song called “Lull” for most of that evening.
Now an advance single for Comerford’s forthcoming Blood Moon LP, “Lull” is jammy but gentle, driven by Aoki’s nimble upright playing, with Comerford and Hartford’s catchy vocal melodies and harmonies floating above and Ostrom’s slide guitar bubbling up, adding pools of darkness to the proceedings. The lyrics counter this darkness with comforting words, “You’ll never walk alone/I’ll sing it for you when you need me,” creating an uneasy lullaby.
Chicago animator and collagist Lisa Barcy, whose previous credits include Andrew Bird, created a music video for the single, working with paper cut-out puppets and hand-built miniature sets (the footage is from her upcoming animated short, The Ephemeral Orphanage). The puppet children, clipped from aged and weathered prints, some with ripped and torn appendages, seek out the illicit opportunity to study the heavens through a telescope, finding a connection between their earthbound bodies to the celestial ones.
Blood Moon, Comerford’s third solo release, comes out June 22 on digital and vinyl via Spacesuit Records. The single edit of “Lull” comes with all pre-orders on Bandcamp. Comerford and a backing band, which includes contributors to the record, will play a release show in Chicago on 6/22 at the Hungry Brain.
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