Touring to promote her third album, The House That Jack Built, Jesca Hoop arrives in a sand-bagged York to a candle-lit Duchess (for ambience rather than electrical issues). Her Californian lilt has not been affected by her four years living in Manchester and her between-song story telling can be as hypnotic and enthralling as the songs.
We hear about her conversations with Mayan Gods on the beaches of her youth, the dangers of audience narcolepsy at her shows and being holed up in a flooded Yorkshire village on a previous tour. These colourful tales sit between songs that embrace a startling range of inspirations all fired with Hoop’s endearing charm and imagination.
She can rattle off a damn infectious tune too, as this Summer’s single ‘Hospital’ reveals. The joy of such offerings is that the lyrical depth of these curious tales lend as much of a weight as the catchy compositions.
Drum machine, synth and bass are put to use in ‘Dig This Record’ which also showcases Jesca’s impressive vocal range. Away from the storytelling she introduces ‘DNR’ as honest song making about the end of her Father’s life. It is an intimate and powerfully moving track.
Her relationship with her parents is a theme that runs through the show ~ indeed the Jack who built the house is her late father and the love she craves through affecting personal injury in ‘Hospital’ is from her parents.
If all this sounds a tad too self absorbed I can only suggest you give her a listen as it is the honesty that accompanies the fine tunes and seductive vocals that make her an adopted song-smith we should cherish.