Jesca Hoop: Memories Are Now (Sub Pop)

jescahoop-memoriesarenowJesca Hoop
Memories Are Now
(Sub Pop)

In the fall of last year, singer-songwriter Jesca Hoop released a 7-inch single with Sam Beam of Iron & Wine and toured Europe with him. Now the Manchester England-native finds herself signed to Sub Pop Records, who recently released her latest long player ‘Memories Are Now.’

Hoop is a born storyteller as she adds raw musicianship and instrumentation to accompany her tales. Her unique sound might not be a surprise since Hoop was once a nanny for Tom Waits.

The opening title track sets the table with Hoop’s fearless nature. The first single, “The Lost Sky” follows with a deep, darker structure. Her voice comes off nervous, as if she is in a hurry, perhaps even frightened as the acoustic strings in the background are plucked and you hope she has found what she was looking for. Produced by Blake Mills (Alabama Shakes), the mysterious singer/songwriters rely heavily on chamber pop music while dishing in a bit of jazz flavor and early 1900’s dance hall cabaret as on the playful “Simon Says.”

Hoop has released a handful of albums on a handful of different labels (3 Entertainment, Last Laugh, Vanguard Records), now it is Sub Pop’s turn with ‘Memories Are Now.’ The sparse collection of songs is a short story with only nine tracks and unfortunately doesn’t pack much of a memorable punch as the nine tracks bleed together.