Album Review: Thomas Comerford — Blood Moon

Thomas Comerford

Blood Moon

The songs that make up Thomas Comerford’s new album, Blood Moon, weren’t necessarily planned to be an album. His goal following his 2014 album, II, was just to keep writing and recording songs at every opportunity without the pressure of a formal album release. He took the chance to work with Chicago acts such as Tatsu Aoki of experimental jazz group Miyumi Project, Panoramic & True, vocalist Amalea Tshilds and singer/pianist Azita Youssefi among others. Last summer he realized that he had a collection of songs that made sense as an album release.

Even though the songs range in style from minimalist folk to rock and jazz, this roaming of the sonic landscape is not jarring; they flow seamlessly as songs that belong together. This is due in part to Comerford’s signature baritone, which weaves between melody and prose, recalling Leonard Cohen and Kris Kristofferson.

It’s too reductive to just say the album is folk. Its rich textures are a cosmopolitan blend of American and British folk — though with less Leadbelly and more Fairport Convention.

The opening track, “Lord of the Flies” (part of the sessions with Panoramic & True), features bright and beautifully chiming guitars that, in combination with Comerford’s reaching vocals, constitutes an alternate reality where Lou Reed worked with the Smiths instead of Metallica. According to his press release this is a song that he’d recorded previously; I’d say he got it right on Blood Moon.

The following track, “Stumblebum,” is a study in contrast. Amalea Tshilds provides beautiful soprano harmonies which weave hope around Comerford’s weary narrative of regret. “So heavy, brothers/All the time/What happened to my abilities with the knife?/Paradigm shift/Drama mine.” I don’t know if it was intentional, but I hear the pun of “Dramamine.”

One night after a recording session, Comerford went to the roof of the studio to observe the titular blood moon. The drama of the eclipse inspired Comerford to look at the songs in a different light — as if the blushing red revealed the theme of the record: human and warm. That’s what we have with Blood Moon: an album that, through collaboration with other artists, shows Comerford’s music in a new light.

This article was originally published in Little Village issue 245.

Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »


World of Bikes presents:


Come talk with our experts about ways to stay on the bike this winter! Find out more at World of Bikes.

Get Started


Muscatine, Iowa


Come to Muscatine for all your Holiday shopping and visit all of our unique and locally owned shops and restaurants!

Visit Muscatine

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.


$10/mo or $120/year
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.


$20/mo or $240/year
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.


$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW) connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.