Jesca Hoop: Memories Are Now (SubPop)

 |   |  1 min read

Animal Kingdom Chaotic
Jesca Hoop: Memories Are Now (SubPop)

Now half a dozen albums into a career (one with Sam Beam aka Iron and Wine) this transplanted American -- who lived in Manchester for a while then returned to the US  -- is almost emblematic of the world we live in, where musical information from diverse sources (plus static, the surface noise of life etc) can all collide equally in our subconscious.

Hoop's gift is in her ability filter out many threads and then re-weave them into something her own.

So for example the opener-title track is an amalgam of quasi-poetic speak-sing and romantic Fifties girl-pop over a shifting, loping beat and the closer The Coming is slow, quite beautiful Lou-like ballad about Jesus announcing the end of his reign and asking the Devil for a new gig.

Between these points Animal Kingdom Chaotic tickles away like a strange, childlike folk song with unsettling percussive bangs to keep you alert, Cut Connection opens like a Joy Division outtake and hikes up towards a shrill stomper, Unsaid is a desperate plea to a lover which comes with a shapeshifting melody and Pegasi is an elegant folk song (“When we're in love we're alive”) on acoustic guitar with pedal steel.

Musically she's a hard woman to pin down – she was Tom Waits' nanny so heaven knows what idiosyncratic sounds she was exposed too – but lyrically many of these literate songs – religious and cosmic imagery abounds – songs express her individuality, the desire to explore and the enduring aspects of love.

Rather different and very special.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Wolfert Brederode, Currents (ECM/Ode)

Wolfert Brederode, Currents (ECM/Ode)

Minimalism may have run its course but there are pieces on this appealing album by pianist Brederode (and group) which find a romantic heart within the steady pulse. Brederode and his band --... > Read more

The Golden Awesome: Autumn (M'Lady's)

The Golden Awesome: Autumn (M'Lady's)

Having been very impressed by the Amazing (although rather underwhelmed by Gold Medal Famous) I am a sucker for a band that doesn't under-sell itself on the naming front. Toad the Wet Sprocket... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER MARK ROSE dices with death for dinner

GUEST WRITER MARK ROSE dices with death for dinner

I have lived through my first (and possibly last) Fugu experience. I managed to book two months in advance at Usukifugu Yamadaya, a famous three Michelin stars Fugu restaurant close to... > Read more

Joe Louis Walker: Hellfire (Alligator)

Joe Louis Walker: Hellfire (Alligator)

From the opening title track this often incendiary album is a conflagration fed by tough blues, psychedelic guitar playing and Walker's frequently soulful voice. He reaches to the fist-tight... > Read more