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JESCA HOOP Memories Are Now

Jesca.Hoop.album

Jesca Hoop
Memories Are Now
Sub Pop/Intertia

7/10

Jesca Hoop’s fifth album is titled Memories Are Now, and her’s would be the result of a broad and varied set of experiences. Born in California and raised by traditional Mormon parents, Hoop grew up singing hymns and folk tunes until her parents separated when she was 14 years of age. Hoop turned her back on her Mormon religion to live under a tree for a summer, before moving to Los Angeles in 2000 and finding herself becoming the nanny to Tom Waits’ children. From there, a career in music seemed inevitable.

Hoop’s most recent outing was a collection of folk duets at the invitation of Sam Beam from Iron & Wine, with Memories Are Now being the first set of new original material in five years. Stepping out of Tony Berg’s Zeitgeist Studio’s for the first time to work with Blake Mills (Alabama Shakes, Fiona Apple), Hoop stripped everything to the bone so as to mirror the sparseness of her live set. There was also the aim to capture the emotion of the songs on Memories Are Now was which led to a recording session that was over at breakneck speed albeit a focused and instinctive session.

The depth of Hoop’s religious upbringing is explored on Songs Of Old and The Coming, where Hoop reflects on the weight that faith and religious movement play throughout the world. With these songs drawing on her reverent youth, they are also the most traditional sounding folk numbers on the album. Pegasi is an unsettling singer songwriter moment as Hoop’s voice shows depth of emotion over a relationship that won’t bend, instead breaking under the weight.

Hoop has got to this point in time by almost exclusively self-funding her life as a musician. With Sub Pop joining the party for Memories Are Now, it is expected that those days are behind her. Memories Are Now is a raw and intimate record that is equal parts myth, reflection and abandonment.

CHRIS HAVERCROFT

 

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