Jesca Hoop - Hunting My Dress
Craig Broad 19/12/2009
I first came across Jesca Hoop on a night when I was eager to watch Elbow who were touring their Mercury Award winning album "Seldom Seen Kid" at the time. You can imagine how difficult it must have been for her, warming up a crowd who didn't know or really care for her and were basically passing time before the ever popular Guy Garvey and Elbow took the stage. Hoop didn't particularly stand out as someone I would go out of my way to rediscover but she definitely held her own on that particular night, looking self assured and filling the stage despite her band consisting of just her and a guitar.
Strange then, that I find her latest album "Hunting My Dress" waiting for me to listen to and review with a promotion slip cleverly stating how she has been endorsed by Guy Garvey. Is that enough though, often it is the case that acts will be supported by musicians who can be said have made it and they just don't live up to the hype given.
It is fitting that I should start by saying, if you love Elbow, that doesn't mean that you will like Jesca Hoop. They are not the same entity and never will be, the only likeness they perhaps have, is that they are intelligent musicians and songwriters. "Hunting My Dress" is fundamentally a folk record gone wrong but not in a bad way. The nine tracks on this record aren't pieces of music that you can second guess, there aren't huge predictable choruses or predictable painfully rhyming lyrics, Hoop just doesn't work this way. Vocally, she fits in somewhere between Bjórk and Imogen Heap and musically, the core values apply; "Hunting My Dress" is not a huge swan song destined to battle it's way next to Mariah Carey on the mainstream charts but it has the strength to gain a cult underground following and this is something that I expect Hoop to achieve.
I'm curious what other music lovers think of "Hunting My Dress". Personally I find it brave and challenging without being too inaccessible, showcasing Jesca Hoops talent in penning songs and when I listen to Stings latest album and compare it to this, I know that Jesca Hoops record holds more value. I just wish albums like this weren't as ignored.
Jesca Hoop Myspace