Jesca Hoop, "Memories Are Now"
Northern California’s Jesca Hoop released three proper studio albums before pairing up with Sam Beam, AKA Iron & Wine, for last year’s beautiful Love Letter for Fire
. But Memories Are Now
’s startlingly unusual melodies here make it clear that the duo album was largely Hoop’s doing. Blake Mills is her musical collaborator this time out, a producer/engineer responsible for the latest Dawes
and Laura Marling
albums. Each of the nine tracks here is startling in intensity and the direct language hidden in fantasy scenes. Check out the percussion-intensive shouting in “Cut Connection,” or the biting dismissal of online life in “Animal Kingdom Chaotic.” Hoop served for many years as nanny to Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, and the influence is obvious, though Hoop does try to integrate more folk and world elements into her strangeness.
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Alela Diane, Laura Veirs, Anais Mitchell