2019 album. Singer songwriter. Also available on Vinyl.
Californian singer-songwriter Jesca Hoop writes and performs in a diverse range of styles - from outsider folk to indie rock - and her new album ‘Stonechild’ is a culmination of life and musical experience, uncompromising in its vision and is described by Jesca as a “compassion project.” On the album Hoop refined and defined. Beautiful, subtle and stark, her fifth album, the follow up to 2017’s highly acclaimed ‘Memories Are Now’, is her best yet.
Despite being a long term resident of Manchester, she has until now, returned to her native California to record. This time round however, “it was” according to Jesca “time to step out of my comfort zone, my safe place”, venturing south to Bristol to team up with producer John Parish (PJ Harvey, Aldous Harding, This is the Kit). Parish’s minimal and purist approach helped clarify her in her ideas and subtly yet effectively realigning her sound. The simplified arrangements draw focus to the fundamental sophistication of the songs.
While Hoop’s trademark finger-plucked guitar and ethereal textures remain, the songs and their presentation are ever more direct. Parish “was a gentle collaborator until he killed one of my darlings” she jests. “I’ve never been so brutally edited, and I wasn’t shy about expressing my discomfort at the sight of my work on the cutting room floor. He said, you will forgive me, and in some way I think I actually enjoyed that treatment…being stripped back to the bare basics…albeit painfully”. ‘Stonechild’ ventures further into fresh territory with other voices joining the narrative, with Kate Stables (aka This is the Kit) Rozi Plain and Lucius singing the choruses and expanding the sensual depth of the sonic bloom. Embedded in her song writing is an inherent unpredictability something she ascribes to being “guided more from instinct than study”.
‘Stonechild’, Jesca says, is intended to “wrap its arms around our human planet spinning in its increasingly precarious wobble”. These rich and curious songs derived from themes of our troubled times speak Hoop’s heart and mind from her empathetic yet tough loving centre point. With writing so fluid, so natural the result is an album where everything is truly meant.
Jesca spends the summer playing festivals in the US and Europe before embarking on an extensive UK and European tour in October.