Following last years critically acclaimed collaborative album, 'Love Letter For Fire', with Iron And Wire's Sam Beam, Jesca Hoop returns with a new solo album, 'Memories Are Now'. Jesca's new nine song release is her seventh album in ten years and is as stripped back and minimalist as anything she's previously delivered.
Hoop's song writing skills are undiminished on her new work and her voice is given free range by the uncluttered, sparse, sometimes stark arrangements. 'Memories Are Now' shifts through lullaby melodies to more complex and angularly agitated compositions. The new record is produced in collaboration with her Zeitgeist Studios stablemate Blake Mills and has clearly been given an expression and form of its own with a rather unfamiliar feel throughout.
Hoop and Mills have chosen to "strip away layers" and make the recording "quite raw, human and sparse, even unsettling" and in doing so have certainly given the songs a unique character. In some ways it's a little like reading a book that isn't at all familiar in its setting; your imagination is left to fill in and conjure up the missing information.
Continue reading: Jesca Hoop - Memories Are Now Album Review
Review of Jesca Hoop's album Hunting My Dress released through Last Laugh Records.
If you find yourself in a position where you need to reaffirm the old adage that truth is often stranger than fiction you could do a lot worse than to include the biography of Jesca Hoop among your research.
Born and raised in California under strict Mormon parentage Jesca's upbringing was not exactly conventional. Hoop had her own private theatre in the basement of their house, guests of which included tap dancing gay men, one of whom her mother temporarily converted, both to the Mormon church, and into a heterosexual relationship. After rejecting the church she has worked in the Arizona Mountains on a rehabilitation programme for kids, decided to launch a music career in her 30's and base herself, for the time being, in Manchester. Oh yes, one more thing, she was the live-in Nanny for Tom Waits children! There must be a book or two in there somewhere, let alone a few songs.
Jesca Hoop is an Alt/Folk/Pop artist of very high calibre indeed. Her mix of influences are vast, bewitching and beguiling in heady measures. Comparisons to Joanna Newsom, Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell may point to both her musical lineage and style of performance but fail to alert you to the true individuality being showcased within the album. Waits himself has been quoted as saying 'her music is like going swimming in a lake at night'. Evocations and imagery are clearly a craft bestowed on each.
Continue reading: Jesca Hoop, Hunting My Dress Album Review