Jesca Hoop - Memories Are Now

by James Gerard Rating:8 Release Date:2017-02-10

Fresh off of last year’s collaboration (Love Letter for Fire) with Iron & Wine mastermind Sam Beam, Indie songstress Jesca Hoop returns to the fold with Memories Are Now, a collection of songs (as well as her first album for Sub Pop) that boldly displays her artistic range.  

Hoop is no stranger to the indie-artist world, with a handful of releases under her belt as well as countless A-list collaborations, her chameleon-esque sound and style has only grown more diverse with each passing release.  Memories Are Now is no exception, touching upon folk, rock and even some electronic influences over the course of the album’s nine tracks.

From the first moments of the title track’s jagged percussion and hushed vocals it’s clear that Memories Are Now is not going to be your standard singer/songwriter affair.  Be it the gentle charm of “The Lost Sky” or the low-fi jangle of “Simon Says”, each of the songs here frame Hoop’s voice in a different way, allowing her singing to be the one continuous thread running through an otherwise diverse set of music.

The album’s centerpiece, “Cut Connection”, with its dense percussive stomp provides a sense of ballast to what is an otherwise largely intimate record.  The album closes with the nearly six minute long “The Coming”, a sparse, emotional number that conveys a sense of closure with its thoughtful lyric while also providing what is perhaps Memories Are Now’s best track.

While it’s tempting to begin referencing the long list of quirky, independently minded female singer/songwriters that Jesca Hoop tends to remind me of, I feel like any artist this far into their career deserves to be measured free of reference and thus I am going to advise those unfamiliar with any of Hoop’s previous work to listen with an open mind.  Let’s just say that Hoop is in good company here and that Memories Are Now is yet another fine album from one Indie-Rock’s brightest stars.

 

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