JESCA HOOP ‘Memories Are Here Now’ CD

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Jesca Hoop’s new album Memories Are Now wastes no time in making clear its confidence, confrontation, and craftsmanship. The stark and reverberant title track opens the set with “a fighting spirit,” says Hoop, serving as an anthem to push through any obstacle and put forth your very best work. And she has unequivocally done that here, with an album of stunningly original songs–minimalist yet brimming with energy, emerging from a wealth of life experience, great emotional depth, and years of honing the craft of singing.

As riveting as it is reflective, the album, produced by Blake Mills (Fiona Apple, Alabama Shakes,John Legend, Laura Marling), is a fresh debut of sorts for Hoop, as the first of her solo records made outside of Tony Berg’s Zeitgeist Studios where she and Mills both cut their teeth in the art of record making under the guidance and support of Tony Berg. Says Hoop, “Blake is so utterly musical and emotionally intelligent in his expression. His guitar voice is a large part of what creates the sound of my first three records. This time I wanted to see what we could do, just he and I out from under Tony’s wing and in a totally different setting.” Mills pushed her to strip away layers, keeping it as close to the live experience as possible, using whole live takes and working very quickly. “It’s still covered in embryonic fluid, for lack of a better way to put it,” says Hoop.