Jesca Hoop - Thursday, February 6 - Rhythm Room
Jesca Hoop likes to play with your mind in ways you cannot help loving. Anyone who has listened to her work knows to expect the unexpected, and Hoop delivers unpredictability with each new release. Hunting My Dress (2010) was just as likely to feature acoustic folk songs ("The Kingdom") as it was scratchy alternative rock numbers ("Feast of the Heart"), and "Whispering Light" topped them all by marrying groovy folk licks to the 38-year-old Northern Californian's subdued, almost conspiratorial, singing as random background vocals evoked a drug trip experienced while watching Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
On 2012's The House that Jack Built, Hoop forayed into beat-heavy alternative pop with catchy tracks like "Ode to Banksy" and "Born To," reminding listeners that she always has more tricks up her sleeve. As if that were not enough, Hoop currently is creating a new album of sorts, Undress, on which she is teaming with such artists as Iron & Wine to take the songs from Hunting and rearrange them. As if trying to prove there's nothing musical that she can't do, it's the second time she's undertaken such a project and surely not the last time she'll keep us guessing. -- Brian Palmer