MIMO - When Music is Your Fix

Up-and-Comers: Jesca Hoop

Sometimes the door of opportunity opens in the oddest of ways. For indie singer/songwriter Jesca Hoop, it opened during her stint as a nanny for Tom Waits’ family.

It’s fitting, actually, given that Waits and Hoop are both a bit off the beaten path, that Waits would have a hand in introducing her to a wider audience—and yet all he did was hand off one of her demos to someone, which got it on local radio, and her music did the rest. This is not a case of a famous artist promoting the heck out of his protégé. This is a case of an artist’s music getting into the right hands at the right time—the classic success story that each indie artist wants to see happen for themselves.

Listen to Jesca Hoop’s songs, and you can understand the appeal. You can’t really pin her down to a genre, except perhaps loosely labeling her “indie-alternative.” She ventures freely through pop, jazz, folk and experimental styles, sometimes sounding like a version of 60’s girl-pop, and other times sounding like a female version of Andrew Bird. Sometimes she sings with a contrived accent. Some artists couldn’t get away with this kind of fearless genre spread, with Jesca Hoop, you forgive it. Every song feels like an event, and you can’t help being drawn in. She’s just so creative that you have to stay tuned to find out what’s coming next.

Hoop has actually been around the music business since 2007, making several recordings and touring with artists like Matt Pond PA, Andrew Bird, and Greg Laswell (among others), and even joining Peter Gabriel’s tour as a backup singer last year. But if her recent single “Born To” is any indication, Hoop’s upcoming album The House That Jack Built is liable to propel her career to the next level. I love her voice on this tune: it practically crackles with energy. (Not to mention the song is extremely catchy.)

Jesca Hoop is currently making “Born To” available as a free download on her website—or you can go to her Facebook Page and stream it there, and THEN download it. I think it would be well worth your time.



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About the Author


Growing up in Portland, Oregon, Kim Phelps found her inspiration and love for music listening to local bands play in the coffeehouses around town. She soon found her own voice as a singer-songwriter, and eventually began playing her own gigs in the coffee shops. Her personal influences include Ani DiFranco, Indigo Girls, Ingrid Michaelson and Cat Power, but as an indie musician herself, she has an affinity for any band or artist who pursues creative freedom on the outskirts of the music industry. As our Indie correspondent, Kim makes a point of highlighting up-and-coming independent acts who are creating a buzz and building an audience. When she's not blogging for us or playing in the coffee shops, Kim works as a barista herself to help pay the bills. She currently lives in Seattle, Washington.

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Posted in: Featured, Indie/Alternative Music


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