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Noisy Neighbors

Kris Delmhorst, ‘Blood Test’



Kris Delmhorst has never been in a hurry, as evidenced by her sparse but sterling catalog. Since her 1998 debut, “Appetite,” she has released just six albums under her own name, in addition to her work with side projects (Redbird, the Vinal Avenue String Band) and lending her supple voice to countless songs by fellow singer-songwriters, many of whom are luminaries in Boston’s folk scene.

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Delmhorst, who lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband, singer-songwriter Jeffrey Foucault, and their daughter, works carefully. She chases her muse at her own pace, on her own terms; as a result, her albums don’t sound tethered to a particular era, but rather hold up as little time capsules of where she was at the moment. She’s also been careful not to junk up her recordings with heavy-handed production.

“Blood Test” is her latest album (out later this month on Signature Sounds), and, after some fun with “Cars,” her 2011 tribute to the Boston-bred band of the same name, it’s her first release of original material since 2008’s “Shotgun Singer.” It feels like a natural extension of that record, but also even more direct than previous efforts.

She enlisted musician Anders Parker (New Multitudes, Varnaline) to co-produce the album, and together they keep the focus on intimacy, hellbent on keeping every triumph and imperfection in place. The whole album features just four musicians: Delmhorst, Parker, drummer Konrad Meissner, and multi-instrumentalist Mark Spencer.

These are deeply felt songs held close to the chest, full of dusky memories (“My Ohio,” “Hushabye”) and hope for a bright future (“Lighthouse,” “Bees”). Delmhorst may not be in a race to make records, but she makes each one worth the wait. (Out May 13)


Kris Delmhorst plays a CD-release show, with Anders Parker, at Brighton Music Hall on May 8, 8 p.m. Tickets: $16. 800-745-3000,

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