Saturday, November 19, 2022

Albums of the Year # 37 Jesca Hoop - Order of Romance



Jesca Hoop used to be Tom Waits' nanny. That's the most oft quoted factoid where she's concerned. Unfair really, given what a talent she i,s but it does give some indication of her singular and particular charms. One thing she doesn't do is walk the straight road.

Latest album,  Order of Romance, (her first was released in 2007), is another winner. She never releases anything that isn't at least interesting, to my ears anyhow.. From opener, Sudden Light the record grabs you gently by the lapels and never lets go of them 'til the ride is done.

How to describe this music. It's not an easy task. Jesca is not particularly similar to anyone who I can think of and seems as much influenced by Gershwin and the classic American musical as Joni or Kate for example. If I had to make comparisons they might be with Tom's former flame, Rickie Lee, or possibly Joanne Newson. 

She harmonises with herself throughout. The record is one song after enough of layered call and responses. Nothing as cliched as verse and chorus for our Jesca. It's not surprising really, if you research her basic biographical details. Raised my Mormon parents in Santa Rosa California. Parents who split when she was 14. The Tom Waits thing. It's hardly an apprenticeship for orthodoxy.

Anyway  Order of Romance thrilled me so much I put it on again immediately. It's been like that ever since. This probably won't get too much attention except from devotees. Those who know know.

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