Jesca Hoop: Abstract and Compelling

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Jesca Hoop

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Frank Ockenfel

Though she's now based in L.A., singer-songwriter Jesca Hoop has spent significant time isolated from pop-culture influences while living in the mountains of the western U.S. That might explain the way her music can seem at once rustic and cosmopolitan, as she draws on everything from chamber music to murder ballads to artists such as Björk.

Growing up singing four-part harmonies with her family, Hoop ultimately rebelled against her Mormon upbringing, heading for wide-open spaces in Wyoming and Arizona. After a few years away from conventional society, she returned to Northern California and found work as, among other things, a nanny for the children of Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan.

Hoop's music sounds unconventional and densely layered, evoking powerful emotions with complex, abstract lyrics. Her new major-label debut, Kismet, embodies an emotional honesty to complement its compelling themes. In this segment, Hoop discusses how she started writing, her Mormon upbringing and being a nanny to the children of music legends.

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