Live review: Jesca Hoop
Based on this show at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, a winning formula of engaging hooks and kooky appeal should propel this LA-via-Manchester singer-songwriter to pop’s top table.
There can’t be many songwriters inspired to pen a ditty on the back of the time they sat with their strict Mormon mother and smoked pot together as she fought off cancer.
Fewer still, no doubt, who marry it to a wonderfully lumbering backbeat and a spidery, finger-picked electric guitar, then weave woo-hoo vocals through it.
The diminutive Jesca Hoop is one such woman, and as the ethereal echo of her lightly smoky vocals bounces around the room, she rolls out one quirky, beguilingly lush song after another.
That she was taken on tour by Elbow two years ago and ended up relocating from sunny LA to Manchester as a result is one of several intriguing details she feeds us during between-song monologues (“I was born without an editor,” she freely admits).
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Her voice is like Suzanne Vega’s more excitable, ebullient young cousin, but it’s the offbeat, less predictable nature of her songs that held the audience’s ear. Launching off from delicately pared down acoustic-and-vocals arrangements, guitars squawked and glowed by turns in an enchanting and promising set of new and familiar material that bodes well for her sophomore album, being recorded now.
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